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A common question raised by Preston residents is 'where does our recycling go?'
As a result we have chosen to sign up to the Resource Association's End Destinations of Recycling Charter. This is a voluntary commitment to publish an annual register of End Destination of Recyclates, with the aim of improving transparency in the recycling supply chain and enhancing public confidence in recycling.
Each recycling crew collects, on average, 6 tonnes of recycling a day. You can find details below of what happens to this recycling once we have collected it.
Vehicles tip off at a transfer station situated at Preston Docks the material is then ‘bulked up’ and sent to Global Renewables (GRL) in Farington. The material is weighed, checked for contamination and is then processed through GRL’s sophisticated sorting equipment.
There are a large number of reprocessors that purchase our recycling and these companies can often change monthly as the market fluctuates and new developments are made in the reprocessing industry.
Glass is 100% recyclable. At Global Renewables, glass is separated from the rest of the recycling that has been collected (which includes plastic bottles and cans). GRL also attempt to recover as much glass as they can from the refuse stream. Their equipment sorts the glass into size not colour. After sorting it is then passed on to our reprocessors.
Recresco located in Cheshire, take all the glass greater than 25mm where it is washed and contamination is removed. Anything that is not glass must be removed, such as paper, bottle tops, cans, plastic bottles and bags, stones or ceramic cups and plates. This is because when the glass is sent to the glass bottle manufacturers, they put it straight into the furnace to be melted and made into new bottles and jars. The majority of glass received goes back into the bottle manufacturing process.
Mixed glass that is less than 25mm is sent to Greener Futures in Blackpool. They also use high-tech equipment to sort glass by colour allowing them to recover the highest proportion of glass from mixed waste streams. This smaller glass often goes off to be made into aggregate or is used in filtration mechanisms in place of sand.
Whilst the larger pieces of glass are sent for further re-processing to make new glass bottles the smaller pieces go to JA Jackson Recycling in Preston and are processed into filler for highway road and stone.
Textiles are sent to I & G Cohen Ltd in Salford who recycle used clothing and household textiles through reuse. Once the clothing has been collected via kerbside collections or from textile banks it is sorted and graded at their warehouse in Salford. Most of the used clothing is sold on for export to Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. (More than 70% of the world’s population wear second hand clothing).
Trained sorting teams pick out the items that make up the “crème grade” which is most sought after by the Eastern Europe market or they make up bales of a “tropical mix grade” for the African market. They also pick out vintage and retro items that sold to their vintage wholesaler Ever So Bazaar.
Any used clothing and textiles that are unable to be used for export due to blemishes or rips are baled together according to material and grade and sent to recycling centres to be made into cleaning and wiping cloths. Cohen’s sells these to industry including engineering companies and garages.
Wilcox Textiles Reclaimers are established in 1895 are comprised of JMP Wilcox & Co Ltd. and Wilcox Industrial Supply Co. They are a family owned group involved in the reclamation, processing and export of fine quality clothing to Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. They work with charities, local authorities and waste reclamation companies and have developed new systems using a robot controlled automatic sorting system. Wilcox collect around 26 million kilograms of textiles per year and around 90% of all products are exported. Those products that cannot be exported because of weight or style or damage remain in the UK to be used for their range of cleaning cloths and felt materials for Automotive sound proofing.
Viridor, based in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, recycles 3,000 tonnes per month of post-consumer plastic bottles from local authorities and the private sector. The primary recyclate streams are PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which can be used as a direct replacement for virgin plastic.
The process for recycling plastics bottles involves sorting the bales of plastics into PET and HDPE streams. These are then intensively washed and granulated to form new flakes or pellets of polymer which are than sold to be manufactured into new plastic products.
Hanbury Plastics Recycling Ltd (HPR Ltd), located in Stoke-on-Trent, in particular, provide routes for the efficient recycling of film or rigid plastics from waste otherwise destined for landfill. JKN Polymers Ltd in Hull recycles plastic household waste and turns it into manhole foundations and cable troughs. These manhole foundations are sold to water companies in the UK, and cable troughs are sold to organisations in Sweden, Ireland, Poland and Belgium.
EMR have locations in Manchester, Liverpool and Salford and their core business is the recycling of scrap metal from a range of sources such as End-of-Life vehicles and consumer products, industry, construction and demolition. They produce 10 million tonnes a year for re-sale and produce over 100 grades of high quality recycled materials.
The Recycling Lives charity based in Preston acts as a safety net for vulnerable and marginalised people. Bales of cans are processed for remelt in the UK and then used for a variety of purposes such as being rolled into new sheet material for the manufacture of aluminium cans or recycled material is used in the manufacture of long steel products for steel reinforcement applications.
Paper and cardboard goes to Saica Natur UK who operate out of Manchester. The company collects, processes and sells more then 440,000 tonnes of cardboard and paper per year. Lancashire's paper and card is processed into plasterboard and other liners.
EOL Recycling Ltd, based in Preston, aims to avoid mattresses being sent to landfill by re-use and recycling whole and component parts. Each mattress they receive is graded. Those fit for re-use are made available to local charitable organisations that support low income families.
Those not fit to be re-used are dismantled into component parts, reprocessed and used for a variety of purposes such as carpet underlay. The metal is sent to steel mills for reprocessing.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.