What happens to your recycling

We’d love to know what you think about our kerbside recycling schemes using our short survey

Friday , May , 29 2020
| Language and Accessibility

Yes, we do recycle it all … and in the UK!

All the waste we collect from your green box, green bags or recycling bank is recycled here in the UK and we even accept black plastics. The vehicle we use may look like a bin wagon, but a partition down the middle separates the recyclable materials into different compartments, keeping them clean, which adds to their value.


Recycling vehicle image

Glass, plastics, tins and cans are placed in one side of the partition and paper, cardboard and cartons in the other. At the recycling depot, the materials are unloaded and placed onto a conveyor belt and clever machinery sorts them ready for reprocessing.

Do you need recycling containers?

Free green box or bag collection from the Civic Centre or order a Home Delivery Here

Paper, cardboard and cartons

Paper, cardboard and cartons from your green bags or recycling banks are taken to a recycling depot in Carlisle where they are tipped off and baled up ready for reprocessing.

Shredded paper can be recycled in your green bag or in a paper recycling bank. Please place into a large envelope or wrap in newspaper to prevent it blowing away on emptying

At the reprocessing factory, paper is separated from the card and cartons and these materials are individually sorted, graded and pulped using water. They are then screened to remove contaminants, cleaned and pumped and rolled into sheets ready to be remade into more paper or card products.

This short video shows you how it is recycled

Tins and cans

Tins and cans from your green box are separated from plastics and glass using magnets at the recycling depot. The tins and cans are then pressed and baled ready for reprocessing. At the reprocessing factory, they are cleaned, shredded, heated and rolled into sheets ready to be remade.

This short video shows you how it is recycled

lightbulb iconTOP TIP

You can leave the label on your tins – this is removed in the recycling process.


Plastics from your green bags are separated from glass and tins using air suction at the recycling depot. It is then baled and sent to a reprocessing factory to be cleaned and sorted by type and colour. The plastic is then shredded, washed, melted and reformed into pellets ready to be remade into new products.

This short video shows you how it is recycled

lightbulb iconTOP TIP

If you remove the lid from plastic bottles, squash them and replace the lid you can fit more in your green bag!

Glass bottles and jars

Glass from your green box is separated out from plastics and cans at the recycling depot and then crushed, ready to be taken to a reprocessing factory. Here the glass is coloured sorted by lasers, melted and the liquid glass is then blown or pressed into new bottles or jars.

This short video shows you how it is recycled 

lightbulb iconDid you know?

Glass can be recycled again and again  
glass recycling image icon

Garden Waste

Garden waste from your green wheeled bins goes to a composting site in Carlisle. Anything that shouldn’t be there is removed before it is shredded and piled up in large heaps. It is turned frequently to heat it up, which helps it decompose. It is then sold and blended to make a compost.

This short video shows you how it is recycled

Food waste

Pizza crusts, fish or meat bones, leftover food… now it can all be recycled!

Normally you should never put cooked food into a home composting bin, but food digester bins are designed specifically for this purpose. All cooked or uncooked leftover food can be placed into them where it safely rots down to either condition the soil around it or to produce a compost you can use on your garden, depending on the type of unit you choose. Food digester units are either £15 (for a Green Cone) or £20 (for a Green Johanna) delivered direct to your home.

Find out more and order your food waste digester at

This short video shows you how it is recycled

Electrical Equipment

You can recycle broken electrical equipment through our bulky waste collection bulky waste collection service or free of charge at a household waste recycling centre (in Carlisle or Brampton).

Electricals that cannot be reused are taken apart and the various materials removed for recycling. For example, aluminium is separated from steel and plastics. Other components (such as zinc) are also removed. The different materials are then sent for recycling to be reprocessed into new products. Electrical items that are still in working order can be donated to local charities.

This short video shows you how it is recycled

lightbulb iconDid you know?

Zinc from recycled mobile phones is used in ship building!.  
Mobile to ship icon

Help reduce waste and recycle for Carlisle!

We provide a kerbside recycling collection service to 99% of homes in Carlisle. The following guide identifies which containers to use for all the items we recycle.

Attention: Please flatten cardboard containers, rinse tins and jars, squash cans and plastic bottles and replace bottle tops

Green Bag 1

YOU CAN recycle newspapers and magazines, junk mail,greetings cards and carboards, food and drink cartons

YOU CANNOT recycle glittery cards, wrapping paper, wallpaper, polystyrene or leftover food

Recycling green bag icon

Green Bag 2

YOU CAN recycle plastic bottles, platstic household containers,tubs and yoghurt pots, plastic food trays

YOU CANNOT  recycle cling film, plant pots, plastic bags, bubble wrap, toys or leftover food

Recycling green bag icon

Green Box

YOU CAN recycle tins and cans, aerosols and jar lids, glass jars and bottles

YOU CANNOT recycle pyrex, ceramics, broken glass, tinfoil or nappies

Recycling green box icon

Garden Waste

YOU CAN  recycle grass clippings, weeds flowers and plants,leaves and hedge clippings, twigs and small branches

YOU CANNOT recycle food waste, pet waste, plastic bags, rubble, soil and stones

Recycling green waste bin icon

Where does our waste go?

Rubbish Rebels is a new and exciting free resource available to schools from Cumbria County Council. Interested schools should contact Judith Bradshaw, Waste Prevention Officer on 07768 724863.

To find out how to recycle other materials, see our A-Z recycling guide. Thank you for recycling!

We’d love to know what you think about our kerbside recycling schemes using our short survey

Take our short survey

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically