Where Does the Recycling Go

Since the introduction of the EU 50% recycling target more than a decade ago, here in the UK, we have taken to recycling with aplomb. Whilst the average household recycling rate still falls short of the EU target (the latest figures from 2012/13 show that we achieved a figure of 43.2%), it is fair to say that the country has come a long way on its sustainable journey thus far.

With the average household taking time to sort their waste themselves and businesses the length and breadth of the UK having to comply with their waste duty of care (if you own/work for a business and want more info on this please give us a call) as well as managing their own business affairs, what can often be forgotten is the waste itself.

As one of the leading waste management companies in the UK, we field a lot of questions from our customers:

“What happens to the waste I throw away?”

“Where does my recycling go?”

So, seeing as we love helping our customers with any query they may have, we thought we’d write a bit about it too.

“What happens to cardboard after I have thrown it away?”

Did you know that when cardboard is sent to landfill and is broken down over time it creates methane gas, a major contributor to global warming and one of the greenhouse gases?

Luckily, cardboard is, as we all know, one of the easiest materials to recycle due to the fibres contained within it that have already been processed as part of its manufacture. By recycling cardboard, not only does this dramatically reduce the amount of trees felled to make paper-based products, it also saves a lot of water (up to 99%) as well as energy (70% less in fact) too?

But what happens to cardboard after it is put in a recycling bin?

When waste is sent to a MRF (Materials Recycling Facility), cardboard is separated from other waste streams, before it is sent to be reprocessed into other products.

Brown cardboard is baled and sent to be reprocessed, whilst any cardboard that is mixed in with paper is sent in its loose form to re-processors.

The next stage in the recycling process of this loose cardboard and paper mix is for water to be added to make a pulp, which is then screened to remove any contaminants and washed to remove glues and inks.

The pulp is then ready to be used in creating more products such as newspapers and magazines as well as, you guessed it, more cardboard.


01/07/2014 16:05:49

by Jonny in Recycling News

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