What happens to your recycling

How your recycling is collected

Recycling, food waste and garden waste is collected by separate vehicles at various times throughout bin collection day.

The recycling bin is being collected on the same vehicle which collects your glass, textiles, small electrical items, batteries and oil. The collection vehicle has two compartments - glass is emptied into one and your recycling bin into another. The vehicle also has a cage underneath to collect electrical items, textiles and oil.

What happens to your recycling

Recycling (blue lidded) bin

  • The mixed items are taken to SUEZ Material Recovery Facility in Birmingham and loaded onto conveyors to be sorted. 
  • A vibrating machine separates the cardboard and paper - different types of paper are sorted by hand and then baled.
  • The remaining recyclables continue on another conveyor where steel cans are removed using magnets.
  • Different types of plastic are identified and separated using optical scanners which makes it very difficult to sort and recycle black plastic.
  • A special kind of magnet called an eddy current is used to sort aluminium cans from steel cans.

Once all the recycling is sorted and separated into different types of materials, this is sent to manufacturers who make it into new products. The majority of your recycling is reprocessed in the UK (around 85%)  Plastic items are sent to a facility in Turkey where they are recycled into items such as garden furniture and children's toys.

The end destination of your recycling can change on a regular basis due to market demand, for more information please contact our customer services on 01993 861000.

Glass bottles and jars (collected separately in black boxes) 

  • These are taken to a glass re-processor URM in West Yorkshire.
  • The sorting process begins with the removal of incorrect items.
  • Clear, brown and green glass is mechanically sorted.
  • The sorted glass is then melted in a furnace and then moulded or blown into new bottles or jars.

Food waste

Your food waste is taken to an anaerobic digestion plant near Cassington. Anaerobic digestion uses micro-organisms to break down food waste, in the absence of oxygen, inside an enclosed system. As it breaks down it gives off methane, which is collected and converted into biogas and used to generate electricity, heat or transport fuels. It also creates a nutrient-rich digestate that can be used as a fertiliser for agriculture and in land regeneration.

Any plastic items mixed in with the food waste, including carrier bags and liners, will be removed at the start of the process and sent to an Energy Recovery Facility to be recycled into energy. For further information, please:

Garden waste

After collection, your garden waste is delivered to a composting site near Chipping Norton. This large scale site enables faster composting as it reaches high temperatures. The garden waste is first shredded then stacked in long piles, known as windrows, which are regularly turned to produce compost. The process is monitored and closely managed to quality standards. Compost is then spread onto agricultural land.

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West Oxfordshire District Council
New Yatt Road
OX28 1PB