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What happens to your recycling

We make sure that all your recycling is sent to be reused or recycled into new products. 

Garden waste

The garden waste we collect is taken to Hills Waste Solutions in Purton. The garden waste is composted and used as a soil improver on farmland, to help grow new crops.

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.

Paper and cardboard

Paper and cardboard are first processed at JM Freeths, Thamesdown Recycling depot at Cricklade.

Paper is then transported to Palm Paper in Norfolk where it is then processed.

Cardboard is sent on to Muda Paper Mills in Malaysia to be made into new products such as cardboard packaging and other paper products.

Glass bottles and jars

Glass bottles and jars are sent to URM or Recresco and processed within the UK ready to be made into new glass products.

Aluminium cans

Aluminium cans are sent to Novelis in Warrington where they are melted down to make new ingots, before being rolled into aluminium sheet to be made into new aluminium cans.

Steel cans

Steel cans are sent to Tata Steel in Port Talbot, South Wales to be processed and made into new ingots from which new steel products can be made.


Plastics are manually sorted at Thamesdown Recycling.

Clear High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) bottles are sent on to UK and European outlets where the plastic is shredded, flaked and turned into a pellet to be used to manufacture future HDPE items.

Plastics made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), coloured HDPE, trays and pots go to outlets in England and Ireland where they are sorted into separate grades using optical sorting methods.


Textiles go to to A-Tex's (formerly Soex) processing plant in Germany. Here the materials are sorted into up to 420 different grades.

Clothing that can be worn again is then exported. Textiles beyond re-wear grade are sent to the rag industry while some materials are recycled into raw materials and fibres. 


Cartons, such as Tetra Pak, are recycled in the UK by Sonoco.

Waste Electricals

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) will go either to Sims Metal Management in Bristol or occasionally Smethwick. The material is bulked up for onward shipment to Nottingham where it is pre-sorted over a picking line to remove hazardous components such as batteries and toner cartridges. Material is then shredded and the ferrous material removed.

The shredded material is then run to Long Marston (Stratford on Avon) for recovery of non-ferrous metals and further separation of plastics, wire and circuit boards.

Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are exported globally with wire and circuit boards exported for smelting to Canada or Japan.


Batteries are taken to Wastepak, Stansted and then sent to Ecobat, Darlaston who inspect and sort the batteries by type. They are then sent to approved recycling sites across Europe to get recycled.

Data Reporting

We report on 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. This information is available to the public at:

The material is tracked and we do regular audits to make sure that it is all being recycled.

Please note that while we do our best to keep this information up to date, end destinations for some materials can change in response to market demands.