- Is my recycling being dumped in developing countries?
- Is my recycling really being reprocessed? I’ve heard it goes to landfill?
- How can you be sure where our recycling is ending up?
- What happens to your plastic recycling?
- I have more questions, who can I speak to?
Many of you may have seen various media documentaries and may be feeling unhappy about the unethical recycling practices the programme uncovered.
We can assure you that East Devon District Council manages residents waste and recycling legally, responsibly and ethically.
No. Your recycling is not being dumped in Malaysia, nor any other developing country.
Your recycling is not being dumped in landfill. The recycling you put out for us to collect at the kerbside is recycled – and mostly here in the UK – into new glass bottles, car parts, aeroplane components, cardboard and more. A small percentage is reprocessed in Europe, again legally, responsibly and ethically.
East Devon District Council consider the recycling that you place out to be a high quality resource that it has value on the market. That means we can sell our recycling to reputable reprocessors here in the UK, which are carefully vetted either by Devon County Council or our contractor Suez.
- Recyclables are separated at home in different containers – card, paper, glass, plastics and cans etc.
- Recyclables are collected from the kerbside and taken to our depot at Greendale in Woodbury Salterton.
- At Greendale materials are stored ready for collection. Plastics and metals are put through a materials recycling facility.
- Plastics are separated from the metals in the materials recycling facility. Eddy current separators sort the aluminium and magnets separate the steel cans.
- The process is fully automated.
- Plastics, tubs, pots and trays are left and sent through a bailer and are then tied with strong wire for easier handling.
- Bales are sent to UK reprocessors for further sorting
- An optical sorter separates the mixed plastics by polymer and colour as follows:
- Natural uncoloured PET (Polyethylene Teraphalate)
- Coloured PET (Polyethylene Teraphalate)
- Coloured HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
- Natural HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
- PP (Polypropylene)
- The separated plastics are then baled by polymer and colour for further use.
- Plastics are washed and then flaked.
- Some polymers are used in manufacturing to make products such as plastic trays.
- Other plastic flakes are melted and extruded to form pellets which can be used in processes such as injection and blow moulding to manufacture new plastic products and packaging.
We have a dedicated Recycling Team who can answer your questions. We also give talks and take questions from community groups. You can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.