Recycling in Dorset – The Facts


1) The Dorset Waste Partnership and our contractors don’t export the waste we collect to developing countries such as Malaysia

2) We don’t collect low quality plastics (such as carrier bags) for recycling, so we have no need to dump or stockpile them anywhere

3) 59.6% of the waste we collect is recycled. This means it is sold to trusted reprocessors and brokers – mainly in the UK and Europe – as high quality recyclable material

4) 23.6% goes to Energy from Waste (EfW, or ‘Waste-to-energy’) where it is incinerated and turned into electricity, again in the UK and Europe

5) 16.8% goes to landfill (in the UK) – compared to a massive 71% back in 2004. Land-filled waste has the biggest environmental impact and also costs the most (through Landfill Tax) so we try to avoid it whenever possible

6) Any plastic material that cannot be recycled, either because it is too low quality or there isn’t a current market for it, is sent to EfW.

All Dorset Waste

After kerbside recycling is collected, it is taken to be sorted and bulked up at various locations across the county.

Any materials that can’t be recycled – either because they are too low quality or there isn’t a market for them – are sent to an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in the UK or Europe, where they are incinerated to generate electricity.

The table below shows where different recyclable materials are sent after they have been sorted:

Table of where Dorset’s materials go to be recycled
MaterialsWhere it goesWhat happens to it
GlassRecresco, South Wales

URM Tilbury Docks

Sorted by colour and washed to remove any impurities. Crushed and melted, then moulded into new products such as bottles and jars.
Newspapers and pamphletsUPM Shotton, North WalesNewspaper and paper
Mixed paper and cardboardSaica, IFP Forest & Paper, ParencoRecycled and turned into new paper and packaging material such as cardboard boxes
Plastic bottlesRecycling UK, J&A Young, Viridor, Centriforce, PPS, Newport CH, Materials Recovery, IFP, Newport PaperProcessed and remoulded into new plastic products or made into fuel to create energy
Food wasteEco Sustainable Solutions, Piddlehinton, West DorsetAnaerobic digestion, where food waste is used to create soil improver, compost and a renewable energy source
Garden wasteEco Sustainable Solutions, Parley, East Dorset

Mark Farwell Composting, Stourpaine, North Dorset

Composted and used in horticulture
Cans and unsorted materialsCans: Ferrous to EMR. Aluminium to Novelis Materials Recovery Facility, North WalesMaterials are separated using a wide variety of sorting and screen technology and then sold to a variety of outlets

What happens to items collected from household recycling centres and mini recycling banks?

Many items that cannot go in with kerbside collection can still be recycled; they just need to be taken to a household recycling centre (HRC) or a recycling bank at a car park.

Where materials collected at HRCs and recycling banks go:

Table of where materials collected at HRCs and recycling banks go
MaterialsWhere it goesWhat happens to it
BatteriesCollected by Abby Metals Ltd. Then it is taken by S Norton and Co. in Liverpool and then sent to Varta Batteries, BelgiumBatteries are reprocessed and turned into new batteries.
CardboardSt Regis paper Ltd, KentCardboard from HRC’s in Dorset is recycled used to make packaging.
Clothing and textilesTransported by Wilcox Ltd to Wolverhampton sorted and split for recycling and reuseTextiles are graded; 10 per cent cannot be exported due to style or weight, these items are recycled and are then used to make industrial cleaning cloths and felt for cars.

The other 90 per cent is sent overseas for reuse in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Electrical appliancesAbbey Metals, Dorset, Bournemouth Autos, Bournemouth and SWEEP, KentThe appliances are crushed and sorted using magnets and hand sorting. Plastics, metals and glass are separated for recycling.
Fluorescent lightingFootprintmatters 2u Newport and CambridgeThe mercury is used for lab and industrial uses.

The aluminium goes back to the metal market.

Glass is made into new light tubes.

Fridges and freezersEMR Ltd., LondonMetal and plastics are removed for recycling, CFC gases are incinerated and CFC free foam (degassed) is land-filled.
Garden wasteECO Sustainable Solutions Ltd, Hurn, Weymouth and StourpaineMade into a nutrient rich compost and soil improver.
GlassRecycled by Recresco, South WalesGlass is re-melted and used to make new bottles and jars.
MetalAbbey Metals, Dorset, and Bournemouth autos, Bournemouth.Sims Group UK LtdSmelted and turned into cars, aeroplanes, tin cans and other metal products.
PlasterboardCountry Style Recycling Ltd, KentGypsum is used for more plasterboard and in the composting process.
RubbleCommercial Recycling Ltd, CanfordGraded, washed, tumbled and re-marketed.
TelevisionsSWEEP Ltd, KentDismantled and plastic and metal recyclable parts are separated. Glass is treated to remove any hazardous components before being sent to be recycled.
TyresW&S Recycling, WimborneFirst the metal rims are removed, tyres are then shredded and used as 25 mm chips for the equestrian market.
Engine oilVeoila, SouthamptonGoes through a process called secondary liquid fuel blending which involves careful analysis by chemists, the fuel is then blended accordingly, and then used to fuel cement kilns.
Vegetable oilLiving Fuels – NottinghamFiltered and refined into bio diesel which can then be used for fuelling buses, cars and lorries that run on bio-diesel.
Wood and timberEco Sustainable Solutions, DorsetShredded and separated into various grades for chip board, biomass fuels (energy recovery) and equestrian products.
FoilSimms Metals, NottinghamIt is melted into aluminium and turned into foil and cans.