Ever wondered what happens to your rubbish after your recycling bins are collected or you drop something off at the recycling centre?
Waste and recycling collected from your doorstep or taken to one of our recycling centres is either recycled, made into compost or can even be turned into electricity.
In the last year, Lancashire has seen a drop in its recycling and composting rate from 45.6% in 2016/17 to 43.5% in 2017/18.
In 2016/17 district councils and recycling centres collected:
Your district council collects the waste and recycling from your home and takes it to a waste transfer station. The county council then transports it for further processing.
Black bin bag waste - Anything you don't separate for recycling will either end up in Whinney Hill Landfill Site at Accrington or might be recovered to make Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) which is sent for use in industrial furnaces. In 2017/18, about 20% of all our black bin bag waste was made into RDF.
The sorted and baled materials for recycling are sold to around 25 different companies who carry out further processing, so that it can be sold to manufacturers of new products.
We receive over 22,000 tonnes of wood across our recycling centres in an average year. It is usually low quality including off-cuts, wood based panels, treated or painted wood.
Recently, we have been collecting 'clean' wood at our Preston recycling centre. It is then used to provide training to prisoners in the wood workshop at HM Prison Wymott. They have been creating a range of wooden garden furniture, planters and hanging baskets.
In 2017 we began a pilot project, working with a charity called Active Lancashire, who repair and renew old bicycles via their network of community workshops.
Our recycling centre staff put aside bicycles that could be reused, for Active Lancashire to collect. They are then restored by volunteers who benefit by gaining confidence and skills, and they get to keep the bike they have been working on.
Every year we handle up to 10,000 tonnes of low value 'hard' plastic such as that used to make garden and office furniture. It's hard to find companies prepared to take this material, so most of it currently goes to landfill.
We're in the early stages of trialling a possible use for this hard plastic in making kerbstones. If successful, it could be used to make other types of street furniture in the future, so more hard plastic could be diverted from landfill.