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What happens next

What happens next

Ever wondered where the waste and recycling you throw away goes?

Below is what happens next to your waste and recycling.

See our end destinations for individual materials.

Garden waste

Brown bin contents are taken to the Brier Hills composting plant near Doncaster. The garden waste is shredded and composted using an open air windrow method. During the windrow phase the moisture and temperatures within the windrows are closely monitored to ensure that good composting conditions and sanitisation of the material is maintained. After just eight to 10 weeks the green waste becomes high quality compost.

Once the composting process is complete the material is then passed through a screener to separate out the required grade size. The compost is then used as a soil improver for agriculture, land regeneration and landscaping.

Residents can purchase bulk orders of compost from the Brier Hills plant. Please contact Brier Hills Recycling Ltd directly on 01405 818877 for more information regarding cost and opening times.


Plastics are sorted by colour and type, and contaminants like labels are removed. The plastic is granulated, heated and moulded into another product. The different types of plastics recycled in North Lincolnshire can return as fizzy drink, shampoo or detergent bottles, carpet fibres, drain pipes, clothing, fleece jackets, traffic cones and recycling boxes.


In a similar way to the newspaper process, cardboard is mixed with water (pulped) and contaminants are removed. It is pressed into sheets and dried and recycled into new boxes, packaging or insulation.


Cartons are fed into a pulper containing water, 20 minutes later the fibres have separated from the polymers and aluminium (polyAl). The pulped cartons have now created a fibre soup.

This soup is pumped into a storage tank ready to be made into core board which can then make tubes and cores. The polyAl is pumped into a separate area for further washing which is then baled ready for recycling and reuse.


Labels, metals and other contamination are removed. The glass is crushed into small pieces to form cullet which is mixed with sand, soda ash and limestone. This is put into a furnace and melted at 1,500 degrees centigrade. The hot glass can then be shaped into moulds and cooled.

Products include new bottles and jars, tiles, jewellery and fibreglass insulation.

Aluminium cans

Cans are flattened and shredded into small pieces. Hot air removes any decoration and the shreds are melted in a furnace. The molten metal flows into moulds to form ingots. 

Products include new cans, window frames, foil or car parts.

Steel/tin cans/aerosols

Cans, tins and aerosols are melted down in a furnace with other grades of scrap metal and liquid iron and turned into new steel.

Products include new cans, car parts, bicycles and paper clips.


Batteries contain various chemicals and work in different ways which means they all have different recycling routes.

Nickel is common which is recovered and reused in industrial applications. The silver often found in watch batteries is used in the photographic and electronics industry and cadmium is used to make new batteries.

Any metal is recovered and reused in industrial applications.


Paper is mixed with warm water and chemicals to turn it into pulp. Ink and materials such as paper clips are removed from the pulp. The paper is pressed to remove water and to form a strong interlocked mat.  It is then ironed out through big tubes and wound into large rolls.

The rolls of recycled paper are cut and wrapped before being cut into size. Paper from your blue box is turned back into new newspapers in just seven days from collection.

The textiles collected through our kerbside scheme help disadvantaged people in the UK by providing clothes for those most in need.

Some of the textiles collected are also exported abroad, mainly to developing countries and Eastern Europe.

The second hand clothing trade supports thousands of livelihoods by providing jobs in trading, distribution, repairing and restyling. Many people in other countries are unable to afford new clothing and instead rely on the recycling schemes to provide affordable garments.

The electrical appliances pass through a hammer mill which smashes them up into small fragments. These fragments are passed along a conveyor where electro magnets are used to separate out the ferrous metals. 

The remaining non-ferrous metals and non-metallic fragments then pass over a second magnet and onto an eddy current separator to remove the aluminium content and other metals. The non-metallic, mainly plastic fragments fall into a container where they are collected up and transported to a plastic recycling company for further processing. 

At various stages on both the ferrous and non-ferrous conveyors, manual picking stations are used to separate out materials such as batteries and copper.

All the electrical items we collect are treated in facilities in the UK. Some of the recyclable materials recovered from these items are sent abroad to be made into new products. However, this is always closely regulated by the Environment Agency to ensure they are recycled in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Anything that requires disposal or incineration remains in the UK.

Green/grey bin or black sacks are taken to the landfill site at Roxby, North Lincolnshire.

Recycle for North Lincolnshire

Contact details


Customer Contact Centre:

01724 297000

Waste Services Depot
Cottage Beck Road
North Lincolnshire
DN16 1TS

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 4.30pm

Friday: 8.30am to 4pm

Last updated: 24/11/2015
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