Where do the sorted materials go?

MRWA have found different reprocessing companies who take the sorted recycled materials to produce new items that include everything from recycling glass bottles, or producing tomorrow’s new newspapers.

MRWA want to assure the public that their recycling efforts are not in vain – each type of waste collected has an identified end market. MWRA, in partnership with its contractor Veolia Environmental Services, has secured markets in the UK for the recycled materials going from the MRFs at Bidston and Gillmoss. It is estimated that approximately 94% of the total recovered materials from the MRFs are recycled in the UK – 6% of MRF outputs were sent to a UK reprocessor who then sent the materials to China and India (last updated June 2019).

Below shows what happens to the materials, and where they are currently transported to.

Glass bottles and jars: are separated into two grades. Large grade is sent to be manufactured for flooring, and smaller grade glass is sent to produce aggregates. Glass is currently sent for reprocessing in Yorkshire and outlets in the North West.

Paper: high grade paper is recycled into new newspapers, magazines and pamphlets paper stock. This is currently sent to Deeside. Mixed paper is pulped and recycled into lower grade paper products. This is currently sent for reprocessing in Deeside and also to non UK mills as demand requires.

Cardboard: is pulped and recycled into new cardboard and cardboard packaging products, lower grade paper products and animal bedding. This is currently sent for reprocessing in the UK through facilities in Kent and the South West. Card is also exported into the Mixed Paper Market in South East Asia.

Steel cans: cans are melted to remove impurities and made into steel and steel products. Steel cans are currently sent for reprocessing in Warrington and Leicestershire.

Aluminum cans: cans are shredded and then melted down and recycled back into aluminium products. Aluminium cans are currently sent for reprocessing in the West Midlands and also in the North West.

Plastic bottles: are recycled to produce numerous products including new bottles, pipes, fibres, food trays etc. Plastic bottles are predominantly sent for reprocessing in Veolia’s own plastics recycling facility in the South East.