What happens to your recycling

Blue bin and bag recycling

The collection crews collect and empty the blue bags and blue bins into a split bodied collection vehicle before delivering the material to a Waste Transfer station.  For more details please see this short video.

The recycling is then taken for sorting to a recycling facility at Birmingham to be separated into different material streams and then sent on for further processing.  

Tins and cans

Food tins are melted down to make new steel items such as car parts and fridges.

Drinks cans are crushed, melted and made into new cans.  New drinks cans can be in the shops again in 6 weeks.

Glass bottles and jars

Glass bottles and jars are washed, crushed, melted and moulded into new glass bottles.

Some recycled glass is ground down and used in making roads.


Plastic bottles are cut into flakes, washed, dried and made into new products such as garden furniture and wheeled bins.


Cardboard is flattened, folded and recycled to make new packaging such as cereal boxes and washing powder boxes.


Paper is sent to a paper mill, pulped down and turned into new paper.

Please see the table below for a list of locations where the recycling which East Staffordshire Borough Council collects ultimately ends its journey.    

Garden waste

Your garden waste goes to a composting facility operated by Biffa where it is processed and turned into a soil conditioning compost.

Grey bin waste

All waste from your grey bins is sent to an Energy Recovery facility where it is converted into energy.  By disposing of waste in this way across Staffordshire, we could generate 23 megawatts of energy – enough to power 30,000 homes for a year. 

Please see the table below for a list of locations where the recycling which East Staffordshire Borough Council collects ultimately ends its journey.

Material Collected Processing Company Processing Site Address Material Destination
Cardboard VIPA Lausanne SA Galeries Benjamin Constant, 1 Lausanne, 1003 Turkey
Cardboard Ekman Recycling LTD Edgware Road, London Thailand and India
Paper and cardboard DS Smith Recycling 76800 Saint Etienne DU Rouvray, France France
Paper and cardboard Smurfit Kappa Recycling UKC Watling Street, Dordon, Tamworth UK
Paper Mixed Waste Paper Trade C.V Groningen, Netherlands Netherlands, France and Germany
Paper Mixed  AP Concept UK Ltd West Malling, Kent Netherlands
Aluminium Real Alloy UK Ltd Swansea, West Glamorgan UK
Aluminium Tandom Metallurgical Group Congleton UK
Steel Morris & Co Handlers  Doncaster UK
Steel SIMS Group UK Mansfield Road, Derby UK
Steel European Metal Recycling Ltd Westbrook, Warrington UK
HDPE Natural Veolia ES (UK) Ltd Dagenham Plastics, Essex UK
HDPE Natural and PET AP Concept UK Ltd West Malling, Kent Austria and Germany
PET  and PTT Plastics  Viridor Resource Management Rochester, Kent UK
PET Plastics J and A Young (Leicester) Ltd Oakley Hay Industrial Estate, Corby UK
PET Plastics Wellman France Recyclage Verdum, France France
PET Plastics Prezero Gestion De Residous SA Les Franqueses Del Valles (Barcelona) Barcelona
Mixed Plastics Monoworld Recycling Ltd Rushden, Northamptonshire UK
Plastics Newport Recycling Newport UK
Plastics Roydon Resource Recovery Ltd Junction Business Park, Lancaster UK
Plastics Biffa Waste Services Ltd Westgate, Aldridge UK
PET Light Baled Clean Tech UK Hemswell Business Park, Lincolnshire UK
Mixed Plastics Impact Recycling Ltd Wallsend, Tyne and Wear UK
Glass Recresco Urban Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham UK
Glass Hoban Waste Management Ltd Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire UK
Glass Glass Recycling UK Carlton, South Yorkshire UK 
Glass Day Group Ltd Ridham Dock, Sittingborne UK
Glass Day Aggregates Greenwich, London UK
Glass URM Tilbury Tilbury, Essex UK
Residual Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd Landor Street, Birmingham UK