Northumberland residents find out where their recyclable waste ends up
Northumberland County Council has moved to reassure residents over where its recyclable waste ends up once collected.
It follows the BBC’s War on Plastic programme, which highlighted a range of plastic products from the UK ending up in South East Asia for processing and some of the unwanted low grade materials being illegally dumped or burned in open fires.
In Northumberland the council only targets plastic bottles in its kerbside household waste recycling service as these containers are easily recyclable, have high value and stable end markets in the UK and Europe.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “In Northumberland, we have invested in our own sorting plant operated by our waste contractor SUEZ, where the different elements of recyclable household waste are separated out using state-of-the-art technology and a dedicated team of staff, before being baled and sold to reprocessors.
“This process enables us to separate plastic bottles into the different polymers, for which there is a high value and stable end markets within the UK.
“When it comes to plastic bags, films, pots, tubs and trays, we advise residents to try to avoid buying products that have single-use plastic packaging where possible.
“If they have these products, they should be disposed of in their general waste bin, the contents of which are then used as fuel at our Energy From Waste facility in Teesside, which generates a significant amount of electricity each year.”