Where does your recycling go

Your dry recyclables such as plastic, metal, paper and glass are collected from the kerbside.

It is taken to be sorted locally at the Forest Park Mechanical Treatment plant where it is sorted into separate recycling streams. It is then sent to reprocessors in the UK who will recycle it into something new.

Below are some of the most popular recyclable materials and where they go to be processed.


This is separated at Forest Park into different types of plastics. It is then sent to reprocessors in the UK.

Depending on the type of plastic it is, it is shredded into pellets before being processed into something new, such as a fleece jacket or garden furniture.


Textiles are collected at the kerbside separately in a bag. They are then taken to Forest Park where they are bundled together and sent to reprocessors in the UK.

They are then graded by hand into different types:

  • reuse
  • rags
  • fibre

Clothes that can be reused could be sent to charity shops or to markets abroad for resale.

Natural textiles that are identified for recycling are sorted by colour and material. By separating colours, the need for re-dying can be removed which reduces the need for polluting chemicals.

Textiles are then pulled into fibres or shredded. Depending on the end use of the yarn, other fibres may be added into the mix. The yarn is then cleaned and spun. Then the yarn is re-spun, ready for further use in weaving or knitting.

Not all fibres will be spun. Some are compressed to be used for fillings, such as in mattresses.

Textiles which are sent to the flocking industry (this is when millions of synthetic or natural fibres are attached to a surface), are used to produce filling material for furniture padding, panel linings, loudspeaker cones, and car insulation.

Synthetic textiles, like polyester, have zippers and buttons removed. The fabric is cut into smaller pieces. The shredded fabrics are granulated and shaped into pellets.

The pellets are then melted and used to create fibres which can be used to make new polyester fabrics.


Household batteries are collected at the kerbside in a separate clear bag placed on top of your closed bin/sack of general waste. As they are a fire risk if punctured, pierced or compressed, they are stored separately on the collection vehicle.

On arrival at Forest Park, they are stored away from other waste or recycling and sent onwards to a reprocessor. Metals and chemicals are removed and used to make new batteries and other products.

Cans and Tins

Metal tins and cans are sorted into steel and aluminium through magnetic selection and sent to reprocessors in the UK. It is then melted down into new metal products.


The paper and card collected from your paper and card insert box or sack is taken to Forest Park. It is then sent for processing in the UK, where it is separated into types and grades.

The separated paper is then washed with soapy water to remove inks, plastic film, staples and glue. it is then put into a large holder where it is mixed with water to create ‘slurry’.

Greasy paper or cardboard like pizza boxes cannot be recycled. This is because it causes oil to form at the top of the slurry, stopping the paper from separating from the oils during the pulping process. When the paper is squeezed out at the end to form new card or paper, it has spots and holes in it. So, it cannot be used.

Different materials are added to the slurry to make different types of paper products. This includes cardboard, newsprints or office paper, which is spread using large rollers into large thin sheets.

The paper is left to dry, and then it is rolled up ready to be cut and used as new card, paper or cardboard.


Where possible furniture is reused. We have a section at our Lynnbottom Recycling Centre where we collect reusable items. We also offer a reuse collection service. The furniture is inspected and tested to check it can be reused. If the furniture is unsuitable for reuse it is recycled where possible.