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What happens to our waste?

Find out where all your recycling goes and what happens to it after collection.

You can now download a useful infographic (pdf, 992kb) (opens in a new window) that shows exactly what happens to all of the rubbish and recycling collected by the Dorset Waste Partnership.

Where Dorset's materials go to be recycled

After kerbside recycling is collected, it is taken to be sorted and bulked up at various locations across the county.

The table below shows where different recyclable materials are then sent:


Where it goes

What happens to it

Glass (opens in a new window)Recresco, South WalesSorted by colour and washed to remove any impurities. Crushed and melted, then moulded into new products such as bottles and jars.

Newspapers and pamphlets (opens in a new window)

UPM Shotton, North Wales

Newspaper and paper

Mixed paper and cardboard (opens in a new window)

Saica, IFP Forest & Paper, Parenco

Recycled and turned into new paper and packaging material such as cardboard boxes

Plastic bottles (opens in a new window)

Recycling UK, J&A Young, Viridor, Centriforce, PPS, Newport CH, Materials Recovery, IFP, Newport Paper

Processed and remoulded into new plastic products or made into fuel to create energy

Food waste (opens in a new window)

Eco Sustainable Solutions, Piddlehinton, West Dorset

Anaerobic digestion, where food waste is used to create soil improver, compost and a renewable energy source

Garden waste (opens in a new window)

Eco Sustainable Solutions, Parley, East Dorset

Mark Farwell Composting, Stourpaine, North Dorset

Composted and used in horticulture

Cans (opens in a new window) and unsorted materialsUPM Materials Recovery Facility, North WalesMaterials are separated using a wide variety of sorting and screen technology and then sold to a variety of outlets


What happens to items collected from household recycling centres and mini recycling banks?

Many items that cannot go in with kerbside collection can still be recycled; they just need to be taken to a household recycling centre (HRC) or mini-recycling centre.

Where materials collected at HRCs and mini recycling centres go:


Where it goes

What happens to it


Collected by Abby Metals Ltd then it is taken by S Norton and Co. in Liverpool and then sent to Varta Batteries, Belgium

Batteries are reprocessed and turned into new batteries


St Regis paper Ltd, Kent,

Cardboard from HRC's in Dorset is recycled used to make packaging

Clothing and textiles

Transported by Wilcox Ltd to Wolverhampton sorted and split for recycling and reuse.

Textiles are graded; 10 per cent cannot be exported due to style or weight, these items are recycled and are then used to make industrial cleaning cloths and felt for cars.

The other 90 per cent is sent overseas for reuse in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Electrical appliances

Abbey Metals, Dorset, Bournemouth Autos, Bournemouth and SWEEP, Kent

The appliances are crushed and sorted using magnets and hand sorting. Plastics, metals and glass are separated for recycling.

Fluorescent lighting

Footprintmatters 2u Newport and Cambridge

The mercury is used for lab and industrial uses.

The aluminium goes back to the metal market.

Glass is made into new light tubes

Fridges and freezers

EMR Ltd., London

Metal and plastics are removed for recycling, CFC gases are incinerated and CFC free foam (degassed) is land-filled.

Garden waste (opens in a new window)

ECO Sustainable Solutions Ltd, Hurn, Weymouth and Stourpaine

Made into a nutrient rich compost and soil improver

Glass (opens in a new window)

Recycled by Recresco, South Wales

Glass is re-melted and used to make new bottles and jars


Abbey Metals, Dorset, and Bournemouth autos, Bournemouth.

Sims Group UK Ltd

Smelted and turned into cars, aeroplanes, tin cans and other metal products


Country Style Recycling Ltd, Kent

Gypsum is used for more plasterboard and in the composting process


Commercial Recycling Ltd, Canford

Graded, washed, tumbled and re-marketed


SWEEP Ltd, Kent

Dismantled and plastic and metal recyclable parts are separated. Glass is treated to remove any hazardous components before being sent to be recycled.


W&S Recycling, Wimborne

First the metal rims are removed, tyres are then shredded and used as 25 mm chips for the equestrian market

Engine oil

Veoila, Southampton

Goes through a process called secondary liquid fuel blending which involves careful analysis by chemists, the fuel is then blended accordingly, and then used to fuel cement kilns

Vegetable oil

Living Fuels - Nottingham

Filtered and refined into bio diesel which can then be used for fuelling buses, cars and lorries that run on bio-diesel.

Wood and timber

Eco Sustainable Solutions, Dorset

Shredded and separated into various grades for chip board, biomass fuels (energy recovery) and equestrian products.


Simms Metals, Nottingham

It is melted into aluminium and turned into foil and cans



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