Take a look inside our recycling centre

If you have ever wanted to see what happens at the recycling centre, where the items Norfolk’s councils collect from your home go, you can now see right inside with our new interactive, 360º video.

You can explore what goes on and follow how paper and plastic from your recycling bins are sorted by hand and by machine.

The video can be viewed on a desktop, mobile, tablet or VR headset – just click or tap on the picture below.

 

So where does my recycling go?

Items you place in your recycle bin at home go to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Costessey, just outside Norwich.

Please watch the video below to see what happens when it gets there.

For a list of what you can put in your recycle bin, please visit our My Recycling Bin page.

And where does it go after that?

After being sorted and separated, your recycling goes to locations in the UK, Europe and China (correct as of November 2017).

Why do we need to recycle?

Recycling is one of the easiest and best ways you can have a positive impact on the world we live in. It is important to both the natural environment and us. And we must act fast as the amount of waste we create is increasing all the time.

We’ve detailed 5 major reasons below, but recycling is better for the environment, is more sustainable and costs less than having to bury or burn our waste.

Recycling conserves resources

When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products are made by extracting fresh, raw material from the Earth, through mining and forestry.

Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future.

Recycling saves energy

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials – even when comparing all associated costs, like transport.

Plus there are extra energy savings because more energy is required to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials ready for industry compared with providing industry-ready materials.

Recycling helps protect the environment

Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution.

As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.

Recycling saves money

Sending rubbish to be buried in the ground or burnt in an incinerator, costs us more than sending it to be recycled. So the more recycling we collect and the cleaner that recycling is, the less it costs our councils and ultimately, you, the taxpayer.

Why isn't everything recyclable?

Materials can only be recycled in Norfolk if:

  • they are capable of being reprocessed into another product
  • they can be identified by the customer
  • they can be collected by the local council
  • they can be sorted at the MRF
  • they can be marketed at a profit

Did You Know

  • Recycling one drinks can could save enough energy to power a TV for four hours
  • We currently save enough energy from recycling glass to chill 34 bottles of wine each day for every UK household!
  • If everyone recycled one more jar, it would save enough energy to put the dishwasher on in every household in the UK
  • It takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic compared with using ‘virgin’ materials
  • The amount of card used over Christmas would wrap the Angel of the North 2 million times!
  • Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in 3 months
  • Extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints