What happens to your waste and recycling

Each household in the Harrogate district produces on average 750 kilograms of rubbish every year. The amount of rubbish we throw away is increasing due to things like lifestyle changes and an increasing population.

More and more people in our district are recycling but we still need to further increase the amount of waste that we recycle. It really does make a difference.

Did you know it costs approximately £116 per tonne to dispose of the waste that isn't collected in kerbside recycling.

All recycling is taken to our waste transfer station at Claro Road in Harrogate. Claro Road is our operational depot, not a household waste recycling centre.

Below are details of where the recycling from the Harrogate district is sent. Please note that this information is subject to change based on the demand for these recycling materials.

Black box

From the waste transfer station, the mixed recycling is transferred to Yorwaste's waste management sites at Harewood Whin or Seamer Carr.

At Yorwaste's waste management sites the glass, cans and plastics go through a sorting process to split the recycling. The outputs from this are then bulked up and moved on for final processing to the material recycling facility (MRF).

  • steel cans get taken to Ward Brothers, Teesside where they get melted down and reused to make products like fridges and car doors
  • aluminium cans get taken to Novelis, Warrington where they get melted down and reused to make lightweight components for the car industry
  • glass is taken to a glass processor to Viridor, Sheffield where the glass is crushed, melted and turned back into bottles and jars or becomes part of the process for and many other products. Unlike some materials glass is infinitely recyclable; it doesn't lose its quality no matter how many times it's been recycled before
  • plastics get sent to the Roydon Group Manchester where it is granulated and made into foods and drinks packaging and can even be made into fleece jackets
  • recycling food and drinks cartons are taken to Sonoco, Halifax. They are mixed with water in a machine, pulped and then dried and rolled into new items

Blue bag

Paper and card is taken directly to our waste transfer station in Harrogate.

  • the card/cardboard is collected and taken to Saica, Partington, Manchester. It is soaked and pulped and made back into cardboard packaging
  • paper is taken to the paper mill at UPM, Shotton, Wales. Paper is made into paper again. Every tonne of paper recycled saves 17 trees

Garden waste wheelie bin

The contents of the garden waste bin are collected in wagons and taken directly to Allium Organics in Sand Hutton and Harewood Whin, Rufforth.

It is turned into a soil enhancer/compost at these sites and is available to buy from household waste recycling centres or used in agriculture.

Household waste wheelie bin

The contents of your household non-recyclable waste wheelie bin is taken to Allerton Waste Recover Park.

The facility includes a mechanical treatment where waste is separated and recyclable items retrieved, for example, uncontaminated metal, paper, tin, card, glass and plastics. Food and biodegradable items are separated to go in an anaerobic digester creating renewable energy and the remaining waste is sent to an energy from the waste plant which creates enough electricity to supply approximately 40,000 homes each year.

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