From your empty beer cans to cardboard cereal packets – recycling from all of Nottinghamshire’s bins all ends up in one place – at Mansfield’s busy Veolia facility.
Eighty members of staff work at the Materials Recovery Facility in Forest Town, which handles kerbside recycling collected from across Nottinghamshire.
Recycling is brought to the site where it is tipped into the ‘reception hall’, before being handled by both mechanical and human sorting.
Cans are separated by magnets and plastic and cardboard are separated before the materials are compressed into bales. They are then collected by a recycling company to be given a new lease of life.
But workers say food waste, nappies and clothes are items which appear in the lorries but are “not pleasant” to deal with.
The facility, which opened in 2009, handles up to 85,000 tonnes a year, equivalent to 35 to 35 refuse collection vehicles, or around 250 tonnes of rubbish a day.
It takes just 15 minutes for the recycling to come through the doors of the factory until it is bailed and ready for collection.
Julie Adams, Contract Performance Manager at Veolia, said: “A lot of people in Nottinghamshire do a fantastic job with their recycling.
“But we really don’t want food waste, when it’s been in a bin for two weeks it’s not pleasant.
“We also get nappies, which are not pleasant, through this process and they spoil the quality of the recyclables we can actually do something with.
“We’d also like people not to put in textiles, they tend to get wrapped around the machinery and we have to untangle it all.”
To celebrate both Zero Waste Week and National Recycle Week, the County Council, in partnership with Veolia, will be running a Notts Recycles Go Green for September Campaign.
Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Chairman of Transport and Environment Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Joining the fight against Climate change has never been more important.
“The more we can do locally, even the small things, all add up and can help reduce the impact that we have, not just here in Nottinghamshire, but right across the country.
“The pandemic has affected the overall recycling rate for Nottinghamshire in 2020/21 with more people being at home in the day and substantially more waste being generated as a result.
“Having declared a Climate Emergency, we all need to do what we can to help reduce the impact of carbon on our climate.”
The challenge will run from September 1 to 30 2021 and offers residents the opportunity to sign up and join the fight against climate change. The Go Green campaign asks residents to take small actions that will make big differences.
There are also competitions with prizes to be won to keep residents motivated throughout the challenge.