Where recycling and waste goes

Visit a recycling or waste facility

We organise regular trips to some of the recycling and waste facilities we use so that Oxford residents can see what happens to waste after it's collected.

Find details of our recycling and waste plant tours.

Mixed recycling - in your blue bin or sacks

Mixed recycling is sorted into separate materials at a Materials Recovery Facility - a state of the art sorting centre based in Crayford, Kent.

Glass

Almost all of the glass we collect is recycled in the UK. Glass in good condition can be recycled infinitely with no loss of quality. Glass can be ground down and used for aggregate in the construction industry. Find more information about recycling glass.

Metal

Most of the metal we collect is recycled in the UK. A small amount is sent for specialist repurposing in various countries in Europe. A metal tin that you put in your recycling bin could be back on supermarket shelves in less than 60 days. Find more information about recycling metal.

Paper and cardboard

Some of the paper and cardboard we collect is recycled in the UK. Some is sent abroad for recycling on a basis of supply and demand but always to facilities that are accredited and licenced by the UK Environment Agency. Paper and cardboard are pulped and reprocessed into fresh paper products. Find more information about recycling paper.

Plastic

Much of the plastic we collect is recycled in this country. Some types of plastic are sent abroad for recycling on a basis of supply and demand but always to facilities that are accredited and licenced by the UK Environment Agency. Unlike many local authorities, we collect many different types of plastic such as thin stretchy films and black trays. Find more information about recycling plastic.

The video below explains the recycling journey.

Food waste recycling - in your food caddy or red bin

We take your food waste to an Anaerobic Digestion plant near Cassington, Oxfordshire. The waste food is broken down by bacteria and turned into biogas and liquid fertiliser. The biogas is a renewable source of electricity. The Cassington plant generates enough energy each year to power 4,200 homes. The liquid fertiliser is spread on local fields - naturally boosting crop yield. Find more information about recycling food waste.

The video below explains the anaerobic digestion process in more detail. 

Garden waste - in your brown bin

Garden waste is taken to Wallingford Compost Site just outside of Oxford. Garden waste is turned into compost in just a few short weeks. The compost is then spread on local fields helping to naturally boost crop yields. Find more information about recycling garden waste.

This video explains the composting process in more detail

Batteries and small electricals - on your bin lid

Batteries that we collect are recycled at a specialist facility in the West Midlands. Small electrical items are broken down into their constituent materials and recycled at an electrical salvage facility in Berkshire.

Find more information about recycling batteries.

Find more information about recycling small electrical items.

Rubbish - in your green bin or lilac sacks

We don’t put any of your household rubbish into landfill. We take material that can’t be recycled just up the road to an Energy Recovery Facility in Ardley, Oxfordshire. At Ardley, the waste is converted into energy in a process that meets the highest environmental standards and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The facility generates enough electricity to power at least 60,000 homes - that’s enough to power the whole of Oxford City! Find more information about disposing of general waste.