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Recycling reduces the demand for raw materials. By recovering materials from old products we are removing or reducing the need to extract yet more raw materials from the earth.

If you don't recycle, your black bag waste will be landfilled - what a waste!.

Pembrokeshire County Council provides many ways in which you can recycle your waste these include:

Orange Bag recycling

Food waste recycling

Kerbside Glass Collections

Civic Amenity and Recycling Centres

Community Recycling Points

How are materials recycled?


  • Your paper is collected from the kerbside or bring bank site.Paper
  • The paper is sorted into different grades. Each grade has a different use according to its quality;
  • Once sorted, the paper is baled according to type. Did you know that there are over 50 grades of waste paper?  
  • The baled paper is sent to a paper mill;
  • The sorted wastepaper is cleaned by a process called de-inking and then broken down in large quantities to form a "porridge" where large contaminants are removed;
  • The fibres (paper strands) are then refined and additives included to give particular qualities to the end paper;

What you threw away is ready to be made into paper.

Steel Cans paper

Putting steel cans into your recycling orange bag/bring bank is a great way to save valuable natural resources.

What happens to your steel cans when they are recycled?

  • They are collected from the kerbside or bring bank and taken to your local civic amenity site for processing;
  • After you have rinsed the can and taken it to your local can recycling bank or in your recycling bag bin for collection they are separated from the other recyclables and taken to the local recycling centre and sorted.
  • Your steel containers are magnetic and therefore easily separated from the other recyclables when they go to the recycling centre for sorting. All the different types of steel packaging are then crushed and baled, and transported to the steel plant;
  • In the steel plant, the bales are put into the furnace with other recyclable steel. Molten iron is added and oxygen is blasted into the furnace which heats up to around 1700 Degrees C;
  • The molten steel, which includes your can, is formed into big slabs which are then rolled into coils. Afterwards, these coils are used for all sorts of steel products;
  • Now your food or drink cans could end up in one of thousands of steel products such as bikes, cars, bridges, paper clips, railway tracks, ship hulls or even another food or drink can.

Did you know? Recycled Steel has a very high resale value which is a big incentive not to throw it away.

Did you know? Steel cans be recycled time and time again, without any loss of quality.

Did you know you can recycle more than just your food and drinks cans? Why don't you put all your steel packaging containers out for recycling? Items like old air freshener, deodorant containers, jam jar lids and biscuit tins are all acceptable.


Aluminium cans

Once your aluminium has been collected and sorted here's what happens to it when it is recycled?

  • The cans are shredded and any coloured coating removed;
  • The shreds of aluminium are melted down in giant furnaces;
  • The molten metal is poured into ingot casts and chilled to set;
  • The aluminium is ready to be used again.

Do you know the difference between aluminium and steel cans? If you are unsure, hold a magnet next to your can. If the magnet sticks to the can, it's steel and if it doesn't, it's made from aluminium. Aluminium cans are also softer than steel and easier crush.


When you recycle glass:

  • The bottles and jars are collected  from the glass bank .
  • Your local council separate the glass into different colours at your civic amenity site;
  • The bottles and jars arrive at a glass reprocessing plant where they are crushed and cleaned. Crushed glass is called cullet;
  • The cullet is put into high temperature furnaces to melt the glass;
  • The melted glass is made into new bottles and jars

Did you know? using glass cullet in a furnace uses less energy than making new glass from scratch?

Did you know? we can recycle glass indefinitely? -if we recycle it, this resource can be used again and again. If we don't, this valuable resource will be sent to landfill and lost forever  (Source:

Key fact
On average, every family in the UK consumes around 330 glass bottles and jars a year.(Source: British Glass)

Plastic Plastic

Did you know that your plastic pop bottles can be recycled to make a fleece jacket like this one? 

 It takes approximately 25 recycled bottles to make one fleece jacket.

How is it done?

  • Recycled plastic bottles such as pop or mineral water bottles are collected and taken to a factory;
  • The bottles are then chopped into small pieces, which are cleaned and then heated up until they melt;
  • The melted plastic is then extruded* and cooled to get a continuous thread. The thread is knitted and afterwards brushed to create the soft fleece material; 
  • Once the plastic thread has been knitted and brushed the process of manufacturing the fleece is the same as for a "classic" fleece;

*Extruded means the heated material is forced through a small opening, like toothpaste being pushed out of a tube.

Compost at home - how is compost made?

  • Compost is made by the natural process of decomposition caused by micro organisms and creatures like bacteria and worms;
  • These creepy crawlies break down your compost friendly waste to create a nutrient rich peat free compost to feed and condition your soil;
  • The compost should be ready to use on your garden in around 18 months - 2 years.

Food Waste - Anaerobic Digestion (AD)

Anaerobic DigestionThis is the Welsh Assembly Government's preferred technology for treating food waste. AD is a source of 100 percent renewable energy. Even the power used to run the AD plant itself will come from its own internal energy generation process.

At its most basic level, this technology works just like us. It takes in food, digests it, and turns it into energy. Using natural bacteria the process breaks down food waste in the absence of oxygen.  This produces a biogas that can be used to create heat and electricity.  It also produces a digestate similar to compost.  This can be used as a soil conditioner to return vital nutrients back to the land.  This improves soil quality while reducing our reliance on artificial fertilisers. 

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview on how anaerobic digestion works. 
Sarah Mukherjee reports on Government Plans to Invest in Anaerobic Digestion (opens new window).

Watch John Craven's report: 
Food Waste & Anaerobic Digestion (opens new window) for the BBC's Countryfile

Here are some facts:

  • 53.14% of household waste (opens new window) in Pembrokeshire is reused recycled or composted
  • Around 45% is still landfilled - it is buried in the ground. Dealing with our rubbish in this way is not sustainable because it wastes energy and materials, and land and natural resources are running out.


Over 60% of your household bin can be recycled.

When we bury our rubbish we are losing valuable natural resources and wasting the energy, water and transport costs used in its production. The only sustainable answer to the problem is to recycle our waste.

Materials from recycling collections all over Wales are sent to materials recycling facilities (MRF). As householders have enabled clean materials of the same type to reach the MRF, they can be collected in bulk and often compacted further before they are transported for recycling into new products! Some of the energy that would have been used in producing ‘virgin' materials will be saved due to householders recycling more of their waste.

ID: 23753 Revised: 12/8/2015