Of our household waste
Exported to Africa for reuse – 27% Exported to Eastern Europe for reuse – 5%
Exported to Pakistan for reuse – 7% Shoes exported to Africa – 17% Shredding into flock for filling materials and insulation etc – 22% Industrial wipers – 21% Discarded as rubbish – 1% Plastics are sorted, shredded, washed, melted and made into pellets. They are turned into:
Polyethylene bin liners and carrier bags Bottles and jars Flooring and window frames Building insulation board Video and compact disc cassettes Fencing and garden furniture Water butts, garden sheds and composters Seed trays Fleece Fibre filling for sleeping bags and duvets
Glass is crushed and any contaminants are removed. It is mixed with new glass and melted in a furnace before being moulded or blown into new bottles or jars or spun into glass wool insulation.
Aluminium and steel cans are melted down in huge furnaces and turned into ingots and coils that are used to produce new products – everything from paperclips to girders for building bridges.
Newspapers and magazines are pulped and mixed with fresh wood pulp to be used for newsprint. Newspapers in the UK contain around 78 per cent recycled paper.
UK tissue mills use about half-amillion tonnes per year of high grade recycled paper. has emptied the items into the relevant areas. Comparing the two weights gives the total amount of recycling collected.
The items are then sorted into categories, by machines and staff, before being collected by external companies and taken to recycling plants which can process the plastics, papers, metals and other reusable materials for use in manufacturing.
The depot was incredibly busy but strangely peaceful and, despite the 29-degree heat, did not smell even slightly.
District councils are responsible for collecting household waste and county councils are responsible for disposing of it, through recycling, dumping into landfill tips and incineration. The Bucks Waste Partnership was set up recently, with four district councils working with Bucks County Council. Its plans for the future include burning landfill waste to produce electricity.
Chiltern and Wycombe councils are optimistic about hitting the 60 per cent recycling target next year, thanks to the work of their crews and people recycling more waste.
Chiltern’s cabinet member for waste and customer services, Councillor Peter Martin, said: “It’s encouraging that our residents are extremely enthusiastic about recycling, but they want more, such as recycling supermarket carrier bags. They’re doing all they can to recycle, which is great.
“The joint partnership is going really well and we’ve enjoyed working with Wycombe and Serco. Long may it continue.”
READY TO GO: A bale of paper about to be ejected from the packing machine