What happens to your recycling

Where your recycling and waste goes

Food waste

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 on wards:

  • 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 taken to a transfer station. It is then sent to a processor locally made into newsprint.

Where your rubbish goes

In Edinburgh around 60% 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.

Watch our video to see what happens to waste that we can't reuse or recycle.

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

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