Where oh where does my recycling go, where oh where can it be?

Following on from the great recycling info hunt 2017. So where is all the stuff going?

I try not to listen to the doom media of the likes of the daily fail, but I think some really must have sunk in. So I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the stuff I’ve found out about where my recycling goes.

It turns out that 96% of my kerb side recycling gets used in the UK or mainland Europe.


I had this vision of it all shipped to China at vast ecological expense, or actually ending up in landfill after all. There’s even a nice bit on council website about what’s recycled locally, feeding into local jobs.

My one disappointment locally though is that it seems that most of the glass collected at the kerb is ending up crushed for building products, not going straight back into new jars.

Glass recycling has the potential to be really good at preventing CO2 release and reducing quarrying; in theory you can just keep making new glass again and again. I’ve been working on the assumption that this was happening, so trying to swap out other packaging for glass options when I could. But once glass goes into aggregate that’s it, end of the line.

My local solution would be to take my glass up to the tip and sort it by colour so it can go back into jars and bottles. I’m not sure if that’s practical at the moment, think I might need to psych up to that one. I guess it’s good to know though. Has anyone else looked into where their recycling actually goes?


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