Where do the sorted materials go?


MRWA have contracted with resource management company Veolia to sort and secure markets for target recyclable materials collected at the kerbside and from our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). Veolia send the sorted materials to different reprocessing companies who use the materials to produce new items that include everything from home insulation products to producing tomorrow’s new newspapers.

Mixed recyclable materials collected at the kerbside and HWRCs across Merseyside and Halton are sent to two ‘Materials Recovery Facilities’ or ‘MRFs’ – one at Bidston on the Wirral and one at Gillmoss near Liverpool.The vast majority of the recyclable material sorted at the MRFs remains within the UK, reprocessed into quality recycled products. A small proportion of Merseyside and Halton’s materials are exported internationally in compliance with stringent market export requirements, to approved facilities ensuring the management of our materials to the highest standards.

The destination for recovered recyclable materials changes regularly according to market demands, Below shows what happens to the materials, and where they are most often transported to.

Glass bottles and jars: are turned into glass cullet used in the production of glass insulation products.  Recovered glass is currently sent to Veolia’s reprocessing plant in St Helens.

Paper: high grade paper is recycled into new newspapers, magazines and pamphlets paper stock. Mixed paper is pulped and recycled into lower grade paper products. Recovered paper is currently sent for reprocessing to facilities in the North West and Flintshire.

Cardboard: is pulped and recycled into new cardboard and cardboard packaging products, lower grade paper products and animal bedding. The majority of recovered cardboard is processed in the UK at facilities in the North West and South East of England with material occasionally exported to facilities in Europe and international market as circumstances demand.

Steel cans: cans are melted to remove impurities and made into steel and steel products. Steel cans are currently sent for reprocessing in South Yorkshire and the Midlands.

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

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.