What happens to your recycling

Please note: our depot at Claro Road in Harrogate is not a household waste recycling centre (HWRC). The district's HWRCs are owned and operated by North Yorkshire County Council.

The recycling materials we collect from the kerbside are taken to our waste transfer station in Harrogate.

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

Mixed recycling (glass, cans, plastic, food cartons)

From the 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 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
  • aluminum cans get taken to Novelis, Warrington where they get melted down and reused to make light weight 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

Paper/ Card

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