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Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the information you want in our service pages, you may be able to find it on this main FAQ page.
After looking at the statistics of how users browse our site we have now focused on the most used services as priority, many hundreds of information pages on our site that were accessed rarely or sometimes not at all have now been removed to de-clutter and make our site easier to use.

However we still accept that some information is desirable to help our users better understand aspects of how Carlisle City Council services work, so we provide FAQ lists on most our section landing pages.
All FAQs including any FAQ that does not fit in any of our our site sections are accessible here in the master FAQ page.

Master FAQ ( select a category or search for answers )

What happens to my recycling?


Plastic is taken to Cumbria Waste Recycling at Hespin Wood, Carlisle where it is squashed and bailed using very strong wire and then wrapped in plastic ready for collection by the purchaser.

Plastics are sent to a re-processor where they are sorted, ground into flakes, washed, dried and made into pellets ready for reuse. The plastics are recycled at various locations, including Cheshire. Plastics are recycled into different products depending on type.

  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic milk bottles are made into watering cans.
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) pop bottles are made into a whole range of products including work wear, carpets, fleeces (it takes 25 bottles to make a fleece jumper), garden furniture and sleeping bag stuffing.

Cardboard, Paper and food/drink cartons

Cardboard and paper from Green bags and recycling banks is taken to Cumbria Waste Recycling at Hespin Wood in Carlisle where it is sorted and bailed up ready for reprocessing.  Food/drink cartons are removed from the process and bailed separately and sent to the Tetrapak processing factory to be recycled.   The recycling process is similar for cardboard and paper, which includes adding water to pulp and then pressing the fibres into new sheets.  It can take as little as 28 days for your recycled newspaper to be born again!


Glass can be recycled again and again and by recycling it you are saving new materials from being quarried.  Glass is collected from recycling banks or Greenboxes and taken to British Glass in Alloa, Scotland for reprocessing.  It is washed and broken up pieces (called cullet).  At this stage it can be processed into a number of products, added to tarmac or melted and remoulded into new glass bottles or jars.

Tins and cans

Empty tin and cans are collected from Greenboxes and recycling banks, taken to the depot and sorted using a magnet to separate steel from aluminium.  We cannot accept 'sandwich' type foil, but larger metal trays can be recycled.   

They are then crushed and baled to save space when transporting to the reprocessing factory. The bales are melted down at high temperatures and the liquid metal is reshaped into new products ready for purchase again.  Aluminium can be recycled again and again and could end up in products such as a bicycle, a car or just made into another tin can!  Steel food cans are usually reprocessed into steel sheets that are pressed and made into new products, such as girders for the building trade.

You don't need to remove labels from tin cans to recycle them but they do need to be quickly rinsed out please!

Garden Waste

Garden waste from your green wheeled bins is collected and taken to our special composting site at Hespin Wood.  It is shredded and turned many times to produce a fine compost that is sold wholesale to DIY stores.

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