Where does my glass go?

Glass is processed in the UK.

  • As glass cannot be baled it is collected loose in bulker trucks at the Smugglers Way MRF and taken to the sorting facility.
  • At the facility contaminants (non-glass materials, such as metals, paper labels and plastics) are removed. Metals are sent on to further facilities to be recycled, whilst other materials are send to landfill.
  • Metal bottle caps are filtered out at the front end of the MRF process with the glass due to their small size. These caps are a contaminant and therefore are removed by magnets, etc., and sent for recycling where markets can be found. However, as they are a composite item (i.e. they have a plastic disk stuck to the inside of them), they can be difficult to separate and recycle.
  • Glass is then sorted into the different colours (using light refraction) and then graded by size using numerous vibrating plates that act like a sieve.
  • The sorted contaminant-free cullet is then send to glass smelting plants in the UK and Europe to be recycled into new bottles, windows, other glass products or used as an aggregate material.