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Recycling plant

After you put your waste materials in the recycling bank or container they are usually taken to a central depot where the materials are sorted, bulked up and baled for onward transportation. The bales are sent to reprocessors such as paper mills, glassmakers or plastic reprocessing plants where the material is processed for use in other applications or processed directly into a new product. In Northern Ireland we send most of our waste abroad to be recycled as we have not yet developed many reprocessing facilities; this is costly and is yet another reason why we should reduce and reuse before considering recycling. Some materials such as aluminium and glass can be recycled indefinitely, as the process does not affect their structure. Other materials - such as paper - require a mixture of waste and raw material to manufacture a new product. With materials such as plastic, the waste is converted into a granulate or pellet which is then used in the manufacture of a recycled or part-recycled plastic product.