How you can help your crew
Help your household heroes by placing the right materials in the recycling bins. Remember not to dump rubbish in the recycling and to empty and rinse all containers before putting them in the bin.
Here are the things you can recycle at home:
If you'd like to check what to do with a specific thing, you can use our A-Z waste search (opens in a new window).
What happens to your recycling?
The recyclables we collect from your households are sorted here in north London at Biffa's materials recycling facility (MRF) in Edmonton, Enfield.
Biffa sorts the mixed recycling (things like cans, paper, plastic, glass) collected by the seven north London borough councils into various materials. After sorting, they are taken to reprocessors – places like paper mills or plastics recycling plants – where they are recycled and made into something new.
The video below shows the process used for sorting north London's recycling at the MRF.
Where does your recycling end up?
Once we've sorted the recycling, it is sold to companies that want to use it to make something new. For example:
- Cans are recycled, filled and back on the shelf again in just six weeks.
- Tins can be used to make train tacks, cars, or even paperclips.
- Plastic could be turned into packaging again, or even car bumpers, drainage pipes or flower pots.
- Glass gets turned into glass bottles and jars again.
- Paper and cardboard could become paper and cardboard again.
All metal, plastic, glass, and most of the paper and cartons, stay in the UK. You can visit our Where does my recycling go (opens in a new window) page to see exactly where all the materials go.
Why we're running the campaign
In our Waste Prevention Plan (opens in a new window), we said we would run a behaviour change campaign to encourage north Londoners to recycle more and better. The result is our flagship campaign, Together We Recycle.
The campaign aims to uncover the human side of the recycling crew, by putting a face to the people who collect our recycling and telling residents about their personal story and commitment to the job. With climate change becoming more and more present in our everyday lives, we want to highlight the importance of 'doing your bit' and mobilise the community to take responsibility for recycling at home.
The Together We Recycle advertisements will be displayed on bus stops and on social media. We have also produced individual leaflets for each crew which are being sent to households in their area.
What makes this campaign unique is that it shows real north London recycling crew loaders and drivers at work sharing their own words about what it means to them to reduce waste, recycle well and protect our resources. The cinematic style of the photography, which was all taken 'on the job' in the crew's respective boroughs, paints the crew as 'household heroes' with the admirable superpower of keeping our boroughs green and helping create a circular economy.