Where does your recycling go?

A variety of commercial companies turn your recycling into good, economically valuable stuff. Recycling is a global industry, of course, so they're not always in the UK. Here's an overview of where your recycling goes now. What do these companies do with your recycling?

Paper

A key paper recycling plant is in King's Lynn, which is run by a German company. Your paper may also go to two other plants in Germany, or to a plant in Istanbul, Turkey.

Cardboard

Plants in Manchester and Snodland, Kent recycle your cardboard in the UK. It can also go to Istanbul, Turkey.

Cans

Steel cans are recycled at plants in Lincolnshire and Derby. Aluminium cans are recycled in Worcestershire

Glass

Most of your glass is recycled in Yorkshire, and some of it may get recycled in the West Midlands

Plastics

There are lots of different types of plastic, so they get recycled in different places using different processes. Bottles are recycled in Lincolnshire. Pots, tubs and trays go either to a plant in Redcar, North Yorkshire, or to a plant in Turkey

Food waste

Food is recycled in Bedfordshire

Garden waste

Garden waste is composted in various places, notably at a large organic farm and vineyard near Overton, Hampshire

Will more be recycled in the UK in future?

Quite probably, yes. The government recently set out its new waste strategy for England, part of which seeks to encourage recycling plants and new recycling technologies within the UK.