Last updated: 29 September 2023
Next review: 29 September 2024
It's important that you put the correct things in each bin. That's because green, brown and black bins and sacks are disposed of differently.
On collection day, if you use wheeled bins, your recycling and general waste are picked up by separate vehicles. Each vehicle goes to different locations and they're treated differently.
If you’re on sack collections, your recycling sacks and your general waste sacks are picked up by the same vehicle. This vehicle has two separate compartments. Recycling sacks goes in one, and refuse sacks goes in the other. We empty each of these compartments in a different location and they're also treated differently.
Your food and garden waste (brown bin if you live in a house, or grey communal bin if you live in a purpose-built flat) is collected by a different vehicle.
How you can recycle as much as possible
Where does the recycling go?
Your recycling is sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Edmonton to get separated. It's sorted both mechanically and by hand, before it's sent to manufacturers to recycle into new products.
Where does food and garden waste go?
Food and garden waste is sent to what is called an 'in-vessel composting facility'. It's placed into large rooms, where it’s heated and aerated. After six to eight weeks it turns into compost.
Find out information about home composting visit the Wise Up to Waste website.
Where does general rubbish go?
Anything which can’t be recycled or turned to compost is sent to an 'energy from waste' facility in Edmonton. There, your rubbish is burned to produce energy. This energy helps generate enough electricity to power 80,000 homes across London throughout the year.
You can see a video of how rubbish is tuned into electricity