Not A Minute To Waste – Where does your waste go in North London?

Have you ever wondered where your waste ends up, or what happens to your recycling? Our informative video series, What happens to north London’s waste, takes you on the journey to show what happens to your waste once you’ve put it in the bin! 

They also aim to bust some myths around your waste and show you where you can take your more difficult-to-recycle items and how you can ensure reusable items can get a new life, such as furniture and electricals. 

See inside our energy recovery facility (rubbish plant).

Operated by London Energy Ltd, our energy-from-waste (EfW) recovery facility is located in Edmonton. EfW is the process of creating energy (heat and electricity) from processing waste.  

Our new energy recovery facility is currently under construction in Edmonton. 

Take a look at our materials recovery facility (recycling plant).

Operated by Biffa in Edmonton, our recycling plant is where your recycling is hand-sorted, and then separated into individual materials with magnets and sensors, to be bailed up for reprocessing, mostly here in the UK.

Did you know that if recycling is badly contaminated with non-recyclable or soiled recyclable materials then the load could be rejected and sent to the energy from waste facility to be treated as rubbish? 

We want to clear up some of the common misconceptions around your household recycling – you'll be surprised how many people think clothes and food can go in there! The video shows one of the most frequently mistaken items that ends up in the recycling when it shouldn’t: greasy pizza boxes. These are too dirty to reprocess the material (cardboard), so have to go in your general rubbish bin. 

Another one of the main items we find contaminating north Londoners’ recycling is the takeaway coffee cup. These can’t go in your household recycling as they are made by fusing paper (the outside layer) with a plastic film (on the inside layer) to make it leak-proof, meaning they are two different materials that can’t be separated for recycling.  

Want to know what you can and can’t recycle? Check out our Recycling A-Z and look up any item! 

Step into our reuse and recycling centres (RRCs) 

At any of north London’s eight RRCs, you’ll find everything from vape and garden waste recycling to reuse shops where you can donate reusable household items (and shop around for second-hand ones to take home!) 

The below video was filmed in the King’s Road RRC.

NLWA has operated a mattress recycling scheme since our innovative trial in 2021, and since then we’ve scaled it up to offer it in all eight of our RRCs. We can successfully recycle 90% of the component materials of the mattresses and have saved over 200,000 mattresses from going to waste. 

Learn more about what happens to north Londoners’ waste on our website.

26 March 2024