What happens to your recycling?

North East Lincolnshire Council is reminding households in the area that all recycling collected here stays in the UK for processing.

It comes after people who saw the opening episode of the BBC’s new series War on Plastic have been asking where their recycling ends up.

The documentary showed the devastating impact plastic is having on the environment and how some household recycling from the UK has been found in illegal dumps in Malaysia.

All household recycling collected in North East Lincolnshire stays in this country to be reprocessed.

Your recyclable items could be back on the shelves within days as new items. Newspapers for example can typically be back on sale within a week and cans within six weeks.

Your recycling might also be used to make something completely different.

About 25 plastic bottles are needed to make a fleece jacket, and your tins and cans could be melted down to make boats or planes. Even glass has unexpected uses, as it can be used in building new roads.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport, said:

“I’m proud to say that all of our household recycling stays in the UK.  More and more people in North East Lincolnshire are recycling and I’m grateful to everyone who makes the effort to recycle as much as they can.

“The only plastics that go in your orange box are plastic bottles. Other plastics, such as food trays, pots and tubs go in your green wheelie bin for household waste which is then converted into electricity.

“Almost all your household waste collected in your green wheelie bins goes to the Energy from Waste plant. Hardly any goes to landfill.

“Our recycling is very good quality because people sort it at home and this helps us keep the different materials separate.
“Re-processors want high quality, clean materials and everyone can help by making sure they put the right recycling in the right box.”


Here’s a reminder of what we recycle in North East Lincolnshire:

  • Blue box for paper and small card
  • Orange box for plastic bottles, food tins and drink cans
  • Green box for glass bottles and jars
  • Green wheelie bin for other household waste
  • Brown wheelie bin for garden waste (chargeable service).

The only plastics that go in your orange recycling boxes are plastic bottles – please wash them, squash them and replace their lids. Squashing the bottles means you can fit a lot more in your recycling box. The same applies to tins and cans.

The Council stopped taking other types of plastic such as yoghurt pots, food trays and tubs several years ago. These types of plastic splinter easily and people didn’t wash the food trays, which led to higher levels of contamination. They can go in the green wheelie bin for household waste.

Cardboard boxes should be broken down before putting them in the blue box.

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    1 Comment

    • John Carlton , June 14, 2019 @ 9:08 pm

      When will the council make it’s mind up on what to recycle & what not to recycle plastic wise in the orange bin?

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