Recycling and waste: statistics and information

What happens to your recycling and rubbish?

Rubbish

Your waste is collected under a contract with Serco. This contract started in April 2012 and has been extended to continue until March 2024.

After the rubbish is collected

After rubbish is collected from your home it is taken to one of the Western Riverside Waste Authority's two waste transfer station in Smugglers Way, Wandsworth and Cringle Street, Battersea where it is bulked and loaded onto barges.

Disposal

It is then taken to an energy-from-waste incinerator at Belvedere in the London borough of Bexley. This uses the heat from burning Wandsworth's residual rubbish to generate enough electricity for the National Grid to power over 13,000 homes. 

Until March 2011, Wandsworth's rubbish was disposed of in a landfill site in Mucking, Essex. Read how this site has now been transformed into the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park.  

What happens to the incinerated ash 

Around 30kg of "fly ash" is also produced in the process of cleaning the chimney gases. As this is more toxic it is harder to recycle and some (around 50%) is disposed of in disused mine shafts in Cheshire.

Around 14,000 tonnes of ashes and aggregates, plus 1,500 tonnes of metals are extracted from Wandsworth's incinerated residual waste every year. Recycling of materials from incinerated waste is not included in standard calculations for the percentage of household waste recycled by local authorities but if counted, this would add over 15% to Wandsworth's recycling rate.  

A bale of cans ready to be recycledRecycling 

Materials Reclamation Facility 

Read about how recycling is sorted and what happens to all the materials after that, or watch the video

To arrange a visit, contact the Western Riverside Waste Authority.

Christmas trees

Christmas trees we collect are delivered to Smugglers Way in Wandsworth where they get mixed with other compostable waste such as leaves from local parks. Bulk loads are then taken for composting at a facility in East London. 

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