Our recycling – where does it go?

NB This information is from the old SHFoE website and dates from 2008. Things change.


Waste from South Hams District Council’s kerbside recycling scheme is taken initially to the council’s contractor, Severnside’s depot in Plymouth where it is sorted and baled ready for transporting for recycling. See www.severnside.com

1. Paper and cardboard – reprocessed in the UK by St Regis Paper Company at Kemsley Paper Mill, Kent.

CLEAR SACKS – three different materials in these sacks; steel cans, aluminium cans and plastic bottles. In Plymouth, the sacks are ripped open and the materials are placed onto a conveyor belt. Magnets remove the steel cans. The aluminium cans and plastic bottles are sorted by hand. The materials are then baled separately. Only 1% of the material put into the recycling sacks is not recycled. Eg yogurt pots and other types of plastic that cannot be accepted as part of the scheme.

2. Steel cans go to Corus Steel Packaging in Carmarthenshire, Wales to be made into anything made of steel. See www.corusgroup.com

3. Aluminium Cans are sent to Novelis Used Beverage Can Recycling Plant, Cheshire to be made into new aluminium cans. See www.novelisrecycling.co.uk Aluminium foil is also taken by them. Aluminium is an expensive raw material so recyclate is valuable.

4. Plastic bottles are sold on a load by load basis to organisations that are accredited by the Environment Agency, whether they are based in the UK or overseas. Import and export of waste is regulated. See www.netregs.gov.uk/netregs/275207/275512/?version=1
See www.recoup.org for more details of what plastic bottles can be made into.

5. Compost goes to the In-Vessel Composter (IVC) at Heathfield near Bovey Tracey. The organic waste is shredded and then it is fed into indoor, concrete bays where the environmental conditions including temperature, moisture and aeration, are closely controlled, to ensure compliance with the Animal By-Products Regulations. Once the compost is removed from the bays, it is left to mature before it can be used as a soil conditioner.

6. Glass is taken to Chelson Meadow Plymouth where it is bulked up to be taken to British Glass recycling in the UK to be made into new glass products.More information about Glass Recycling from here:

7. Tetra paks are collected from five sites in the South Hams. Recycled cartons can be used to make envelopes, paper carrier bags, printing paper, plasterboard liners, roof tiles and brooms.

8. Textiles are taken by JMP Wilcox to be sorted further and have quite a number of end uses. Please see www.jmpwilcox.co.uk

9. Good clothes, Shoes, books & household items can be taken to charity shops.

10. Furniture – Refurnish is a furniture reuse organisation which collects unwanted furniture and reconditions it ready for resale in its Totnes and Bittaford shops

11. Electrical goods, wood, metal, plastics, car batteries, old appliances, gas bottles, reusable goods, oil can be accepted at the Devon County Council recycling centres