What happens to the materials you recycle?
Cans and Plastics
Plastics and cans are collected by Fife Council and are taken to a local Fife company who bale (compact and secure) the materials.
- The plastics are then collected and transferred to Hartlepool, England, where they are sorted into their grades of plastic and cans.
Paper and cardboard
Our office paper is of a high grade, called Sorted Office Waste (SOW) and cardboard which is known as Old Corrugated Container (OCC).
Saica Natur UK Ltd, the waste management company who uplift our paper skip and CB bales give us a monthly rebate based on tonnages collected and the current market price for these commodities – this rebate helped us buy our wee green machine (the universities electric vehicle).
Paper is uplifted from Grounds Services by Saica and taken to their local facility in Kirkcaldy where it is sorted and compacted into bales for storage and transportation. They also uplift our bailed cardboard.
All paper and cardboard stays within the UK.
- Cardboard goes to a paper mill in Partington near Manchester where approximately 400,000 tonnes a year of 100% recycled paper (containerboard) is produced to be used in the manufacture of recycled corrugated boxes.
- The Paper goes to paper re processors within the UK such as Kimberly-Clark’s Northfleet Paper Mill, also known as the “Andrex Mill” in Kent
Confidential waste paper waste is collected separately by our Recycling Team and shredded at Grounds Services and added to our paper recycling.
Glass is then taken to a company in Alloa for reprocessing. The glass is melted down, put into a mould, and blown into its final shape. The surface of the glass is then sprayed with a coating to increase its strength. Clear glass is primarily used for Scottish whisky, brown for beer bottles in Germany, and green glass for wine bottles in France.
- We collect glass in three different colours - clear, green and brown.
- The colours are kept separate by using 3 different bins.
- When the bins are emptied by Fife Council they go into one truck, but are kept separate, as the vehicle has 3 compartments.
Textiles are collected by Nathans Wastesavers and taken to Denny near Falkirk to be sorted by hand. Good quality clothes are reused by charity shops or sent to developing companies such as Africa. Worn or damaged textiles are ripped into wiping clothes for local industries, such as factories or oil rigs. Some textiles are shredded and used for filling mattresses, or for making carpet tiles or insulation. 98% of the textiles that are collected are reused or recycled, with 76% being reused.