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What happens to your recycling and rubbish?

You've made the effort and separated your recycling from your normal household rubbish and we've come along and picked it up. But what happens to it now?

Portsmouth MRF Recycling

After collection from your property, your clear sacks full of recycling are taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Hampshire.

Here, the bags are split open and the materials are loaded onto a conveyor belt to be taken into the processing area. The first stop is a pre-sort area, where workers pick out items that cannot be recycled. This is done so that they don't damage the machines or contaminate the recycling.

Once through the pre-sort area, the materials are separated into different types by a series of automatic machines and manual sorting.

The separated materials are then baled and loaded onto lorries to be transported and reprocessed into new products:

Paper is taken to papermills and made into newspapers, magazines, tissues, toilet paper and cards.

Card is recycled into cardboard packaging.

Food tins are sent to a steelworks, where they can be recycled into anything from a paperclip or new tin can to coathangers and car parts.

Aluminium drinks cans are remade into new drinks cans

Plastic bottles can be recycled into a wide range of products, including drainage pipes, garden furniture, road signs and even fleece jackets.

Marchwood ERF Household Refuse

The household refuse is collected from your property every week and transported to the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Marchwood.

Your refuse is incinerated at the ERF and the heat energy recovered is used to produce steam. This steam is then used to generate electricity, which is supplied to the National Grid.

Updated: 27 Mar 2017
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