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What happens to your recycling

Recycling collected from the kerbside and at recycling banks is tipped into separate bays at the Biffa depot in Cinderford before being sent on to licensed reprocessors and sorting facilities.

Plastic bottles and tins, cans and aerosols

Plastic bottles and tins, cans and aerosols collected from the kerbside are taken to Biffa (Aldridge) and Printwaste's (Bishops Cleeve) Materials Recovery Facilities where they are separated into the different material streams before being sent on to reprocessors.    

Each of the material recovery facilities send the materials to a variety of reprocessors for processing including:

Tins, cans and aerosols from the recycling banks are initially sent to Sims Metal Management in Cinderford. The cans are sorted into the two different types with the steel cans being taken to Sims Metal, Avonmouth. These cans are then shredded ready for export or delivered to a local foundry.  The aluminium cans are baled and sent on to Novelis in Warrington for remelting.

Recycled plastic can be made into drainage pipes, compost bins, water butts, carrier bags and fibres for clothing such as fleeces and carpets.

Glass jars and bottles 

Glass is reprocessed by URM/Berryman, South Kirby.  Glass is 100% recyclable with no loss of quality and can be made into new glass products such as bottles, jars and glass wool or used in road aggregate.


There are a number of textile banks throughout the district which can be used to recycle clothing and paired shoes. The council's banks, provided and serviced by Soex (European Recycling Company), accept a wide range of other textiles including: accessories (such as belts and handbags), curtains, sheets and blankets, towels and soft toys. Please note that the banks cannot be used for duvets, pillows, cushions or carpet. 

The collected materials are taken to ERC's warehouse in Germany where they are sorted into different grades. Most items are then sent abroad to developing countries where they are sold at markets to be re-worn. Items which are not suitable to be reused as clothing are broken down so that their fastenings, trimmings and fibres can be recycled.

Textiles collected from the kerb are recycled by Green World Recycling Ltd.  The majority of items will be exported to Eastern Europe for re-wear.  Low grade items, which are not suitable to be worn again, will be made into cloths, rags and soundproofing for the automotive industry.     

Paper and cardboard

All paper and cardboard collected at the kerbside is sent to Newport Paper. The paper and cardboard is then sent to Viar Paper a reprocessor in Belgium. 

Electrical appliances

Electrical and electronic appliances are taken to European Metal Recycling in Gloucester. Metals will be extracted for resale and where possible other materials, such as plastic, will be captured for recycling.

Food waste

Food waste is taken to Andigestion’s anaerobic digestion plant in Gloucestershire where it is treated. 

  • At the plant any caddy liners will be removed.  The food waste is mixed and pulped to create a thick liquid which is then pasteurised to kill any harmful bacteria;
  • As the food waste breaks down it produces biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide) which is extracted and fed back to the grid;
  • Once the gas has been removed a liquid food fertiliser (known as ‘digestate’) remains which can be used on local farmland;
  • Digestate is high in valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements required for healthy plant growth and fertile soil. 

Garden waste

Garden waste collected from the kerbside is taken to Rose Hill Farm, Dymock or transferred to Pendock Estates, near Redmarley, where it is composted to make a nutrient rich soil improver. 

  • The green waste is shredded and then turned at regular intervals;
  • Any contamination is separated from the compost by passing the material over screens;
  • The compost is high in valuable nutrients required for fertile soil and is used on local farms;
  • Bags of soil improver are available to purchase from the Household Recycling Centres for a small charge (currently £3.50 for a 40ltr bag).


Cartons (such as tetra paks) can be recycled at five sites across the district.  The material is then taken to a mill in Halifax where the components are separated before being recycled into board packaging (fibres) and garden furniture (composite plastics). Find out more about the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) and Sonoco Alcore.

Data Reporting

The Council reports the weight (in tonnes) of the material it collects and the destination of where the recycling is taken to central Government on a quarterly basis using the WasteDataFlow system.  This information is available to the public at www.wastedataflow.org.

My Location

Enter a postcode below to look up location based information for:

  • Bin collections days
  • Councillor(s)
  • Planning applications
  • Recycling banks

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