We organised a visit to the SUEZ Bodmin recycling plant for Valentine’s day. SUEZ are contracted by Cornwall Council, together with Biffa and SITA, to deal with our recycling and other general waste.
The Bodmin recycling facility sorts the different items which we put in our recycling bags. When you put your steel, aluminium and plastic in one bag, the Bodmin plant has an automatic sorter to separate these, coupled with people just checking that the whole sorting process goes as it should. First, the metal gets separated from the plastic, and consequently the steel and aluminium are separated by their magnetic properties.
The paper waste gets checked to ensure there is no cardboard, which has to be separated. All waste streams then get compacted in a big press, before sent off to further recycling centres in the UK. All recycling apart from glass gets send to centres in the UK for further processing.
In Cornwall we recycle about 42% of our waste and the aim for the UK is to recycle about 50% by 2020. However, we found out that about 70% of our waste is recyclable, so we need to educate people on what is and isn’t recyclable. According to Suez, many residents do not realise that you can put clothes waste (including rags, but excluding duvets and cushions) in your black box that is also used for glass recycling. Also, some people are unaware that you need to rinse your bottles and containers, so as not to contaminate the recycling stream. After compression, if there are too many microbes in a particular lot, this will get rejected by the recycling processing facility.
“My visit to the Bodmin recycling centre was very enjoyable and educational. I would recommend a visit to everyone of all ages to get a better knowledge of recycling and what happens to the materials and the understanding of what can and can’t be recycled at the moment.
Did you know: Any plastic that can be scrunched up into a ball cannot be recycled. This is a big problem so we need to reduce our use of these materials.”
Everyone really enjoyed the visit and we want to give our heartfelt thanks to Emma from Suez for this great opportunity.
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