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West Sussex Recycles

What happens to your recycling in West Sussex

Posted on 16 January 2019

Recycling collected by district and borough councils from households in West Sussex is delivered to a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Ford. The facility is one of the most technologically advanced MRFs in the country and is operated by Viridor on behalf of West Sussex County Council.

The mainly automated MRF sorts and separates all the recyclables - such as paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminium cans and tin cans - into individual high quality, valuable materials which are baled, ready for manufacturing into new goods and products.

Almost two thirds of recycling collected in West Sussex is sold to companies based in the UK. 94 per cent of plastics, 95 per cent of newspapers and magazines, and 100 per cent of glass, tins and cans are all sold and processed within the UK. The main materials exported are old corrugated cardboard and paper. These exports support the circular economy for the packaging of products manufactured overseas such as televisions, other technological equipment and white goods. It also provides a more sustainable packaging solution for organisations who provide online shopping.

Unfortunately, around six per cent of the materials collected cannot be processed or recycled as the wrong waste has been placed in the recycling bin or materials are contaminated (for example with liquids or food). This rate is, however, low compared to similar facilities and these items are transferred to our Mechanical & Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility in Warnham, and processed into fuel, energy, or a nutrient rich soil enhancer.

To help us sort recycling in West Sussex and ensure it’s suitable for reprocessing, it’s vital to put the right items into your recycling bin.

Residents can help by making sure items are:

•        CLEAN - free from food and drink leftovers - a quick rinse will do.

•        DRY - keep your recycling bin lid shut – soggy paper and cardboard can’t be recycled and can clog up machinery at the MRF.  Please do not leave items by the side of the recycling bin where they could get wet.

•        LOOSE – not tied up in plastic bags.


Find out more about recycling here