What happens to my recycling?

What happens to the mixed recycling we collect from your blue-lidded bin?

Once collected from your blue-lidded bin your recycling (such as paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, drink cartons and glass) is initially stored at Cupid Green Depot before being transported to Pearce Group in St Albans, where it is sorted in a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). Recyclables are separated by type using a variety of methods, including magnets, air jets and large rotating drums and then bulked ready for reprocessing.

Watch this video to see an example of how a MRF operates:

Following this, the materials are then sold on by Pearce. The specific material, quality and wider market conditions at the time dictate where the material is sold on to. Pearce will do its best to find a UK market for all materials. However, sometimes there is no viable option to have the material reprocessed in the UK.

Learn more about the  Mixed recycling loop (PDF 401KB).

Frequently asked questions

What happens to your food waste?

Once collected from your kerbside caddies, your food waste is initially stored at Cupid Green Depot. It is then transported to an Anaerobic Digestion facility in St Albans.

Once there, the food waste is heated with recycled heat from the gas engines to 70 degrees centigrade for one hour. It is then pumped into a digestion tank, which is like a giant stomach, for around 85 days. Good bacteria eat the food to extract as much energy as possible. The energy produced is put towards the National Grid, and what is left is used as a liquid fertiliser on farmland.

Watch these videos to see what happens to your food waste:

What happens to your garden waste?

Once collected from your green-lidded bin, your garden waste is initially stored at Cupid Green Depot. Once there is a large enough volume of garden waste, it is then transported to a windrow facility in Enfield, Middlesex. The resulting product is then sold on to the farming community as soil improver.

Watch this video to see what happens to your garden waste:

You can buy large compostable waste sacks for the green-lidded bin for £6 for a roll of 25 (reduced price for Dacorum Card holders). They are available to buy from The Forum in Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted Civic Centre and Victoria Hall, Tring. Please note: excess garden waste sacks alongside the green-lidded bin will not be accepted. Excess garden waste can be taken to the Recycling Centres on Eastman Way in Hemel Hempstead or Northbridge Road in Berkhamsted. If you regularly have excess garden waste, you may want to buy more green-lidded bins and subscribe to our Additional Garden Waste Subscription Service.

What happens to recycling that goes to the Recycling Centres?

Hertfordshire County Council provides Recycling Centres. Here, residents can deposit household waste free of charge. See Hertfordshire County Council's leaflet  How is my waste recycled? (PDF 6 MB) for information on how waste from recycling centres is recycled.

Find out where your nearest Recycling Centre is and opening hours.

Watch this video to find out what happens to your small electrical appliances:

Warning signCoronavirus (COVID-19): We continue to provide services online and via telephone. However, we recognise that in some cases you will need an appointment with an officer, and will therefore be offering limited pre-booked appointments at the Forum for urgent enquiries. Please call 01442 228000 and ask for the service you require. For council service updates and other advice, please see our COVID-19 page×