Five Waste Disposal Myths Debunked

Five Waste Disposal Myths Debunked

What really happens to your recycling after it's put in your recycling bin, either at home or at your business?

There are various misconceptions surrounding waste disposal services,
so in this myth-buster, we aim to dispel some of these.



1. Your recycling doesn't end up getting recycled

It's commonly suspected that items that can be recycled are actually getting put into landfill, when in fact this waste is getting processed at one of our specialist facilities. Our Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWF) in Southwark, for example, processes up to 85,000 tonnes of recycling per year.

Every effort is made to recycle or repurpose waste materials and Veolia operates more than 20 Materials Recovery Facilities and 10 Energy Recovery Facilities across the country. Landfill is being phased out but remains a necessary option for a small amount of waste including things like building rubble and waste soil.


2. A lot of your waste gets shipped abroad

There have been plenty of negative news stories about waste historically being shipped abroad rather than treated by waste recycling companies here in the UK.

Veolia's nationwide infrastructure of recycling and recovery facilities ensures that most of your waste gets treated on home soil. Only specific items need to be transported, such as some electrical components, which require the specialist materials recovery that is available at dedicated facilities in Europe.

Landfill Site

3. General waste all goes to landfill

Up until the 21st century, landfill was regarded as the go-to waste disposal option. By 2018, the amount of waste sent to landfill was only 20% of the amount sent to landfill in 1995, and this number continues to decrease.

Veolia's Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) enable waste to be segregated, maximising recycling rates as much as possible. Residual waste that cannot be recycled is sent to our Energy Recovery Facilities (ERF), where waste is combusted to generate electricity for the grid, and heat for communities, public buildings and industry.


4. Most grades of plastic can't be recycled

There are seven main types of plastic, and within these many different grades of plastic, all with different qualities. There are certain plastics that are widely assumed to be unrecyclable, such as High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is used to make bottles and carrier bags.

However, Veolia's investment in expanding our plastic waste recycling capabilities means that we are now able to recycle over 100 different grades of plastic. These include difficult-to-recycle materials such as HDPE, Polypropylene (PP) which is used to make bottle tops, and Polycarbonate (PC) which is used to make CDs and DVDs.

5. Some items are simply unrecyclable

Crisp packets, sweet wrappers, hard hats… These items are generally assumed to be destined for the general waste bin.

However, our ProCycle service has unlocked the recyclability of these and other tricky items and enables both businesses and consumers to increase the amount they recycle, by developing bespoke recycling routes for harder to treat items.


Get in touch to find out how we can improve your business's recycling rates.

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