What happens to your recycling?

Here is what happens to your recycling after collection from the kerbside, Recycling Points or Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).

From the Kerbside

Paper and cardboard

  • We take your paper to a local sorting facility. They sort and compact the paper into bales for storage and transportation.
  • It is then recycled into recyclable paper & cardboard products.

Cans and plastics

  • Cans and plastics are taken to a transfer station for bulking before transport to reprocessor.
  • It is then sorted into various grades of plastic and metal.
  • The plastics are recycled into various plastic materials.  This includes carrier bags, bins and plastic furniture.
  • The cans are then sorted into Aluminium and Steel for metal processing companies.

Food Waste

  • Food waste goes to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant in Glenfarg.
  • This waste is retained in an enclosed unit know as a fermenter.  The breakdown of the organic material (an anaerobic digestion process) produces biogas.  The biogas produces fuel for the onsite combined heat and power system.  The electricity generated goes to the national grid and the heat recovered is used for the digesters.
  • After this process the remaining digestate is composted and used by local farmers.

Garden Waste

  • Transferred to a site at Riverside where it goes through a process of being shredded and placed into piles called windrows.
  • This final product meets the quality assurance standard ‘BSI PAS 100’ and sold through Discovery Compost for a nominal fee.

Recycling Points and HWRC


  • We now collect mixed glass as this can be sorted by colour at the processing plant.
  • Glass can go for recycling into new products, reused as an aggregate or reused in sustainable water treatment technologies.

Find out what happens to the glass you recycle

Glass Recycling video

Old clothes and shoes

  • A company collects textiles and hand sorts the materials.
  • Good quality clothes go to charity shops or charity partners in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.
  • Worn or damaged textiles are ripped into wiping cloths for factories or oil-rigs.
  • They shred some textiles for use in filling mattresses.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

  • Batteries go to specialised hazardous waste recycling facilities.
  • Electrical Equipment goes to specialised companies, dismantled and recycled.
  • Fridges are degassed and their parts are recycled.
  • Gas cylinders are re-filled with gas and reused.
  • Metal goes to local scrap metal merchants for recycling.
  • Wood