What happens to your recycling

Where your recycling and waste goes

Food waste goes to the Kelda Organic Energy plant at Millerhill, and is made into renewable electricity and fertiliser.

Garden waste

Forth Resource Management (FRM) shred and compost garden waste in large piles called open windrows. The end product can be bought by members of the public.

Packaging banks, mixed recycling banks, green wheelie bins, and red and blue boxes

All items are taken to Biffa's recycling sorting facility. It is sorted and materials are sent onwards:

  • Paper is sent to a paper mill where it is processed back into newsprint.
  • Tins and cans are recycled back into new tins and cans.
  • Cardboard is made into packaging.
  • Textiles are recycled.
  • Household batteries are recycled.
  • Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays are turned into new plastic products such as garden furniture.
  • Electrical items are shredded and metals and plastics are removed for recycling.

Paper banks

Paper from paper banks is collected and sent to newspaper mills in Norfolk and north Wales. 

Where your rubbish goes

In Edinburgh more than 50% of your rubbish is taken to a landfill site in Dunbar.

Landfill sites are large holes in the ground. They are lined with a layer of clay or synthetic material to prevent pollutants from escaping. This site is well managed to protect the environment but it is important to use our recycling services where possible to make the best use of precious materials.

Scotland 's Zero Waste plan sets out the Scottish Government's vision for a zero waste society.

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