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 an MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) in Kent. The MRF uses a variety of methods, including magnets, air jets and large rotating drums, to split the recycling into separate materials.

Learn more about the  Mixed Recycling Loop (PDF 399KB).

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, some of it is transported to an In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, and eventually to a windrow facility.

During the composting process at the St Ives facility, the garden waste is heated to 70 degrees centigrade to break down all the materials. The resulting product is then sold on to the farming community as soil improver.

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 Household Waste Recycling Centres (tip/dump) on Eastman Way in Hemel Hempsted 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.

Learn more about the  Garden Waste Loop (PDF 368KB).

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 Surrey.

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. 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 this video to find out what happens to your food waste:

Learn more about the   Food Waste Recycling Loop (PDF 434KB).

What happens to recycling that goes to the Household Waste Recycling Centres (tips/dumps)?

Hertfordshire County Council provides Household Waste Recycling Centres (tips/dumps). 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 HWRCs is recycled.

Find out where your nearest HWRC is and opening hours.