What happens to your recycling

Materials for recycling go to different reprocessors

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

Garden waste is taken to Forth Resource Management where they shred garden waste in large piles called open windrows, where it composts over time. The end product, a soil improver, can be bought by members of the public.

Glass is taken to Viridor, where it is sorted and processed into high quality raw materials for the glass container and fibreglass markets.

Paper is sent to a paper mill where it is processed into newsprint. 

Tins and cans are recycled into new tins and cans.

Cardboard is made into packaging.

Textiles are collected and sorted by Nathans to be re-used and recycled in developing nations in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

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.

Household batteries are sorted and processed at G&P Batteries to recover the materials in each battery type.

Landfill waste

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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