Have you ever wondered what happens to the recycling that is collected from your home?
What happens to the contents of your blue lidded-bin?
Once your blue-lidded bin has been collected from your home, the contents are taken to a state-of-the-art Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located in Crayford, Kent.
- The materials are unloaded from the vehicles and placed onto a moving conveyor belt.
- Visual inspections and manual sorting then helps to remove any bulky or non-recyclable materials.
- As the belt moves around the plant, various mechanical processes separate materials like glass, steel and aluminium cans, cartons and plastics from each other.
- Further manual and mechanical sorting then takes place to ensure the materials are properly separated and not contaminated.
- Once sorting is complete, the separated materials are sent to different companies to be reprocessed so they can be recycled back into new products such as plastic or glass bottles and cans.
What happens to the contents of your blue sack?
Once your blue sack has been collected, it is sent to a facility where the paper and cardboard is separated from each other. The separated paper and cardboard is then sent to a range of end markets and paper mills predominantly within the UK and Europe for processing.
What happens to your food waste?
The food waste we collect from households across Brent is taken to an Anaerobic Digestion or AD plant based in Mitcham, South-West London.
- The food waste is put into large sealed airless containers to start the digestion process.
- The natural digestion process breaks down the food anaerobically (without oxygen) over several weeks.
- Once the food waste is broken down, it can be used as a fuel (biogas), a nutrient-rich fertiliser or converted into electricity.
- The fertiliser is used in the farming industry or as compost, the biogas is used to fuel the trucks that collect the food waste from the transfer stations and the energy created is exported into the National Grid as electricity.
- The entire system is a closed loop solution so no waste is produced at the end of the process.
What happens to your garden waste?
The garden waste we collect from households across Brent is taken to a nearby composting facility based in Harefield, West London.
- The contents are unloaded and shredded to break down any large items of garden waste.
- Using a process called Windrow Composting, the garden waste is placed in long rows called windrows and left to breakdown naturally.
- After being left for around 12 weeks and turned regularly, the waste breaks down naturally to form a material that can be used to improve the soil.
- At the end of the process, the material is screened and sold on as compost to farmers or the general public.
If you want further information on these processes, email: firstname.lastname@example.org