What happens to your waste?

Black/green bin (non-recyclable waste)

The waste collected from your black (or green) bin is bulked and taken to a brand new Energy from Waste facility in Dunbar.

The waste is incinerated, producing steam that is used to generate electricity.

The facility provides 30MW of electricity into the national grid which is enough to continually power 39,000 homes.

Blue bin (paper and card)

The paper and card collected from your blue bin is taken by our refuse collection vehicles to a recycling company in Glasgow who use it in their large network of paper mills throughout Europe. 

It is important to remember that recyclable material is a commodity that is traded in a similar way to raw materials such as foodstuffs.  Manufacturers will only take it if it is of good enough quality that it can be used to make something of value.  This is why it is so important to make sure that only clean and dry paper, card and cardboard is put in this bin.

Please do not put used paper napkins, packaging contaminated with food, nappies or anything other than paper, card or cardboard in to your blue bin as this makes the material unusable.   Even small amounts of contamination can mean a whole load is rejected and sent to landfill or incineration.

Light grey bin (glass, cans and plastics)

The material collected in your light grey bin is taken by our refuse collection vehicles to 2 different locations for sorting.  The material is sorted into a number of different waste streams including glass, aluminium, steel and mixed plastics. The glass is processed into glass cullet which is used in furnaces to make new glass. The metals and plastics are baled and sold on.

The baled mixed plastics can also be taken to specialist facilities for further sorting dependent on the needs of the re-manufacturing sector. This may involve plastics being sorted into different polymer types or different colours of plastic within each polymer type.

It is important to remember that recyclable material is a commodity that is traded in a similar way to raw materials such as foodstuffs.  Manufacturers will only take it if it is of good enough quality that it can be used to make something of value.  This is why it is so important to make sure that you only put clean recyclable containers in your light grey bin. Contaminated recyclable material can’t be used by processors and is highly likely to end up being landfilled or incinerated.

Please do not put plastic bags, nappies, food waste or general black bag waste in to your light grey bin.

Burgundy bin (food and garden waste)

Food and garden waste goes to an In Vessel Composting Facility (IVC) and is turned into compost.