Six of the seven constituent north London boroughs bring the mixed recyclables that they’ve collected from households, businesses and recycling banks for processing at material recovery facilities (MRFs) in London under contracts provided by North London Waste Authority (NLWA). These contracts are with specialist resource management companies who process and separate recyclable material into its component parts at the MRFs and sell it on to manufacturers for making new products. NLWA carries out regular audits and checks, including on the income received from the sale of recyclable material, to ensure that the material is being dealt with responsibly. As much recyclable material as possible, and in particular recyclable plastic, is supplied to manufacturers predominantly in the UK. However, there are manufacturers across the world who can use recyclable material so these opportunities are driven by global markets.
NLWA works with all its constituent north London boroughs and its contractors to reduce contamination of recyclable material by residual (or black bag) waste at the point of collection, and runs campaigns to encourage residents to recycle properly. Any loads of recyclable material that are too heavily contaminated would not be sent for processing, and would instead have to be disposed of as residual waste.
You can find more information about what happens to north London’s recycling here.