What happens to my recycling?

MK residents' clear recycling sacks are taken by our collection vehicles to Old Wolverton. From here it is sent on to a Materials Recycling Facility, where machinery and staff sort and separate the paper, cardboards, metals and plastics. The different material types are the squashed into cubes, known as bales, ready for transportation to be made into new recycled products (PDF, 331KB).  

  • Paper is recycled into more newspaper, toilet rolls, tissues and egg boxes. Paper can be recycled 5 or 6 times before the fibres become too weak to be recycled. Its last life will be as a tissue.
  • Steel and aluminium cans are sent to furnaces where they are melted down and recycled to create more cans. They are back on the supermarket shelf with new food or fizz inside in about 6 weeks.
  • Plastic is first flaked, then washed, dried and melted. Plastic bottles can be recycled into more bottles, traffic cones, wheeled bins, guttering and even the fluff in duvets. Plastic food tubs, yoghurt pots, etc. can be recycled into a plastic board to be turned into products such as picnic tables or pig sties.
  • All glass bottles and jars collected from blue boxes are sent to furnaces where they are melted down. The molten glass can then be re-moulded into new bottles and jars. When different colour glass is melted together it all turns green as this is the dominant colour.
  • All batteries collected in yellow bags are sent to furnaces to be melted down. The metals and acid are extracted to be made into new recycled products, including new batteries.
  • Food and garden waste is sent to an In-vessel composting facility to create a low grade soil conditioner for agriculture.

What happens to my rubbish?

Book a waste education talk

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Last Updated: 12 January 2022