Where your recycling goes

Materials collected from recycling boxes are hand sorted by our crews at the kerbside into the separate compartments on the recycling trucks.

They are then taken to the NSEC waste transfer station where they are bulked and bailed. Then will then be transported to different destinations to be processed and recycled.

Plastic packaging

All plastic recycling collected in North Somerset is processed in the UK.

Household plastic packaging such as bottles, pots, tubs, trays are taken to multiple plastic processing plants, such as Roydons group in Manchester, Biffa Aldridge, and other UK based off takers.

From there they are taken and processed to different types of plastics and sorted, graded, and shredded. The resulting plastic pellets are sold to manufacturers and recycled into various products including milk bottles, cosmetic tubes, drainage pipes, compost bins, and car parts.

Hard plastics are sent to Wessex Plastics in Bridgwater and made into new plastic items.

Unfortunately, we cannot collect black plastic from your recycling box as it can’t be sorted at the recycling facility.

Metal packaging

Household steel and aluminium packaging is sorted using magnets.

Aluminium waste is sent to multiple destinations such as Novellis in Warrington, SWM in Barnstable, and Alutrade in the Midlands where it is recycled into new aluminium cans.

Used aluminium cans are recycled, reprocessed, remade and ready for resale in approximately 60 days. In a year, a can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.

Steel tins and aerosol cans are sent to a facility in South Wales where they are recycled into new steel products.

Recycled steel can be found in a huge variety of products, including bicycle frames, pipes, train tracks, ship hulls, cars, bridges and paperclips as well as new household tins and cans.


Paper waste, such as newspaper, magazines, envelopes and junk mail are taken to Palm Paper in King’s Lynn. It is turned into new paper for use by the newsprint industry.


The textiles we collect for recycling, such as clothes and shoes, are processed by Packaged Group Ltd. They are committed to reducing landfill and have a strict ethical trading policy.

Once textiles are sorted and graded, they are divided between traders and wholesalers who will repurpose them in the UK, Asia, and Europe, or they are recycled. Wet and damaged materials are disposed of in a responsible way.

Package Group Ltd do not process, or ship any unrecyclable waste overseas.

Cardboard and cartons

Cardboard and cartons are taken to either DS Smith in Kent, Edwards Waste Paper in Essex, and Smurfit Kappa in Tamworth and recycled into new cardboard packaging in 14 days.

Recycling cardboard reduces the need to cut down trees. It also cuts most of the chemicals used in the treatment process and saves energy.  It takes far less effort to recycle than it does to make cardboard from scratch.


We send glass to URM (UK Ltd) in Knottingley, West Yorkshire where it is cleaned and sorted into raw material and then sent to UK glass manufacturers.


Household batteries (AA, AAA, B, C, D) should be placed in a clear plastic bag in the recycling box to keep them together.

They are sent to G&P Batteries in the West Midlands to be sorted by battery type. The sorted batteries are sent to be recycled to recover the metal and be made into new batteries.

Food waste

Food waste collected from your food waste box is bulked and taken to Codford Biogas for anaerobic digestion. 

It is broken down by microorganisms to produce a biogas that is used to turn turbines and generate electricity, which is then exported back to the national grid. A nutrient-rich fertiliser is also produced that is spread twice a year onto farmland at the site.

Electrical items

Electrical items are collected by Sims Recycling Solutions. Some items are disassembled and some are shredded. The different material is separated and recycled. Chemicals, such as lead, are safely disposed of.

Garden waste

Garden waste is taken to Enovert in Gloucester for composting. The waste is shredded, laid out in rows and turned regularly to oxygenate.

After about 10 weeks it can be used as a soil improver on farmers’ fields.


Around 80% of your household waste should be recyclable.

If you can’t reuse or recycle something, the item will probably end up in your wheeled rubbish bin.

Following our commitment to climate emergency, we have made big changes to move towards a zero landfill contract.

This means instead of sending our non-recyclable kerbside waste to landfill, we divert it to energy recovery.

Rubbish is sent to the Energy from Waste (EfW) plant in Avonmouth. Here the rubbish is either recycled, or used as a refuse-derived fuel.

The non-recyclable waste from the recycling centres is collected and taken to ETM in Ashton Gate. Here it is sorted and a majority is sent for recycling, the rest is sent to Energy for Waste with a small percentage diverted to landfill.