Where does my recycling go?

Before sending any recyclable material to a third party, in addition to the “Duty of Care” checks it is legally required to carry out, Cory also carries out its own extensive due diligence process to ensure that, as far as is reasonably possible, all of its material will be subsequently managed legally and in an environmentally responsible manner.

To find out what happens to the individual materials, please click on the links below:

Cory sends material to four paper mills based in the UK, Holland and Belgium.

  • Bales of mixed paper are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to one of the facilities by road.
  • Bales are off-loaded and visually inspected for high levels of contaminants.    The bales will be re-sorted again into separate grades of paper (i.e. white, brown, card, etc.) and be processed at the mill or sold to other local European mills.
  • The separate grades of materials are shredded, cleaned and pulped with a whisk-like machine that pulls any remaining contaminants out.
  • The pulp is then dried and rolled to make sheets which is then used to make new packaging and various paper products like printing paper, tissue paper, cereal packets, packaging and card.
  • Any contaminants will either be recycled (in the case of metals and baling wire) and the remainder sent to Energy from Waste

OCC is sent to facilities in Belgium. Because the fibre lengths in cardboard are longer, the material is stronger and can be recycled more times than paper or newspaper:

  • Bales of cardboard are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility.
  • Bales are off-loaded and visually inspected for high levels of contaminants.
  • Material is shredded, cleaned and pulped, with a whisk-like machine pulling any remaining contaminants out.
  • The pulp is then dried and rolled to make sheets which are then used to make new cardboard packaging.

Separated News & Pams go to mills in the UK (Vale of Glamorgan), Holland and Norway. The process is very similar to that of the mixed paper/OCC described above:

  • Bales of News & Pams are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility.
  • Bales are off-loaded and visually inspected for high levels of contaminants.
  • The material is shredded, cleaned, pulped and de-inked, with a whisk-like machine pulling any remaining contaminants out.
  • The pulp is then dried and rolled to make sheets which are used to make new newspapers.

Film is a low-quality plastic grade and is not accepted as a recyclable material at the MRF, with the exception of the clear recycling sacks that the mixed recycling is collected in. Over the last three years, due to the lack of reprocessing plants available to recycle this material, it has not always been possible to send this material to be recycled and, when that is the case, the film is sent to Energy from Waste to be converted to electricity.

Steel cans are processed in the UK.

  • Bales of steel are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility.
  • Bales are off-loaded at a bulking yard, where the bales are broken down and any contaminants removed.
  • Material is then taken to a UK-based furnace where it is smelted into sheets that are used to make new cans, car or plane parts or anything else that is manufactured from steel.

Aluminium cans are taken directly to a German aluminium recycling plant.

  • Bales of aluminium cans are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility in Germany.
  • Bales are off-loaded and inspected for contaminants.
  • The bales are loaded into a furnace and smelted into sheets

The sheets are then made into new cans, car parts or anything else that is made from aluminium.

HDPE natural plastics are processed locally in the south east of England.

  • Bales are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility.
  • The material is shredded and put on conveyor belts and any contaminants removed before being but through a sink tank (to separate out any unwanted plastic types, e.g.  bottle tops). These plastics are then sold locally in the UK and Europe to be made into new products.
  • Bottle tops are separated from the natural HDPE at the reprocessing centre in the sink tank and are sent to a secondary facility to be recycled.
  • The HDPE flakes are washed, dried, melted and pelletised before being mixed with some virgin material and made back into milk bottles.

HDPE coloured plastics are processed in the UK to make a range of products such as new bottles, bag for life shopping bags and furniture.

  • Bales are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility.
  • Material is shredded and put on conveyors and any contaminants removed before being but through a sink tank (to separate out any unwanted plastic types, e.g. bottle tops). These plastics are then sold locally in the UK and Europe to be recycled.
  • The HDPE flakes are washed, dried, melted and pelletised before being mixed with virgin material and made into various products, including piping, detergent bottles and bag for life shopping bags.

PET ‘clear’ natural is currently sent to a plastic reprocessing plant in Germany and is processed in the same way as HDPE.

The PET natural is processed into food grade plastics (drinks bottles, sandwich trays and salad trays, etc).

PET coloured is also currently sent to the same plant as PET ‘clear’  in Germany and is processed in the same way.

The PET coloured is processed into food grade plastics (drinks bottles, ready meal trays, etc.), and potentially clothing (such as fleece jackets). The sustainability of making clothes from plastics is under review due to the risk of micro plastics entering the water ecosystems during the washing process of the clothes.

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, or other glass products, or is otherwise (but rarely) used as an aggregate material.
  • Bales are put into an articulated lorry at the MRF in Smugglers Way and taken to the facility.
  • The mixed plastics are shredded and placed into a sink tank to separate the plastics into the different grades (i.e. PP, PS, PET, HDPE LDPE).
  • These flakes are then washed and dried before being bagged up and sent to the processing facility.
  • At the processing facility, the flakes are pelletised, mixed with virgin material (dependent on specification requirement or what is being made) and moulded into new products, such as wheeled bins and storage containers.
  • Dependent on the market, pellets can also be sold to other plastic manufacturers around Europe.
  • Any contaminants are sent to Energy from Waste Facilities in the UK.

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