The contents of your recycling bin are taken to a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Leatherhead.
Here it is separated out into different materials and baled up ready for transport to a re-processor.
Clothes, textiles, batteries
Clothes and home textiles are either sorted to be worn and used again in the UK or abroad, or recycled into useful products like felt, insulation or stuffing.
The components from batteries and small electrical items are extracted and reused to make other items. For example, zinc can be used in shipbuilding and to make lampposts or railings; gold from consoles for example can be re-used to make jewellery and musical instruments can even be made from the plastic.
Your food waste is taken to an anaerobic digestion plant. It’s ground up, and put into large heated tanks where bacteria break down the food. The bacteria produce methane which is collected and used to generate electricity. The nutrient rich liquid left at the end of the process is then used as a fertiliser and soil improver.