What happens to our recycling | Oxfordshire County Council

What happens to our recycling

Information about where the recyclable materials we collect at our Waste Recycling Centres are sent.

What happens to your recycling after it’s been collected? Download our leaflet (pdf format, 250Kb).


To recycle card, water is added to make a pulp and ink is removed. It can then be used to make corrugated card and boxes for the packaging industry.

Paper logo

Producing new card uses a lot of natural resources, energy and chemicals.


Electrical logo

It is illegal to send any electrical items to landfill because they contain hazardous materials. Electrical items are also not permitted at Ardley Energy Recovery Facility. We send them to a reprocessor where everything within an appliance is converted back to its component parts, such as plastic and metal, for recycling.

Garden waste

Garden waste logo

We have several composting sites in Oxfordshire where green waste is taken to be turned into a quality compost and used by local farmers.


Glass logo

All colours of glass bottles and jars are collected together and then separated using hi tech optical sorting equipment that can sort 10 tonnes every hour. Glass bottles and jars are broken into small pieces and washed to have any paper or metal tops removed, and then melted in a furnace and used to make new glass products or road surfaces. Glass can be recycled an unlimited number of times without the quality being reduced.


Garden waste logo

Inert waste such as rubble, bricks and tiles can be crushed and used to make road surfaces. It is very important that only inert waste is put into the container, so no plastic, metal or wood is accepted.


Metals logo

Metal is melted in a furnace and used to make new metal products such as cans, or even aeroplane parts. By recycling metal we can save energy and natural resources. Recycling metal uses only 5% of the energy making new products would use. Aluminium is recycled into a new can less than 6 weeks later.


Paper logo

Paper is recycled in a similar way to card, and is then used to make newspaper and other paper products. Paper can be recycled into a newspaper within seven days.


Plastics logo

Plastic is washed and sorted into different types of plastic in the UK, and then sold to plastic manufacturers internationally to be made into both new plastic products and even things like fleece jackets! Recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a 60 watt lightbulb for six hours.


Textiles logo

Good quality clothes are exported to Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Different grades and qualities are sorted to match demand and weather conditions. Products which cannot be reused are used to make industrial cleaning cloths and sound proofing materials for the car industry.


wood and timber waste logo

The very nature of Household Waste Recycling Centre wood waste is that it consists of a high particle board content which is very difficult to recycle. To enable the recycling, the Household Waste Recycling Centre wood has to be sorted and then diluted with high quality wood. This is then shredded, all ferrous and non-ferrous metal is removed and delivered to the end market. 90% of this material will be remanufactured into a chipboard based product. If the Household Waste Recycling Centre wood waste is not able to be recycled into the panel board industry then it is manufactured into a fuel to be recovered in a combined heat and power station.

Last reviewed
19 January 2018
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