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Recycling Centre

Follow the contents of your bin as they embark on their most important journey since they were made - saving the planet one piece at a time.

Helen Babbs reports on the amazing adventures of your rubbish as it travels from bin to bottle factory...


Step #1. The mixed up rubbish from your recycling bin arrives at the centre by lorry, along with many, many, many more.

Step #2. It's tipped out of the lorry and into a growing mountain of multi-coloured plastics, paper and metal. Pretty!


Step #3. The recycling centre is full of piles of rubbish all waiting to be sorted out by giant, mechanical digger arms that look a bit like rubbish-hungry dinosaurs.

Step #4. The mixed up rubbish is loaded on a really tall conveyor belt that carries it all away like luggage at the airport.

Step #5. People in special protective gear check the rubbish as it zooms past to take out any food or non-recyclable stuff that might be lurking in it.


Step #6. The rubbish now needs to be separated out. Its journey will depend on what its made from.


Step #7. Huge cogs shake the rubbish up and down, separating plastic from paper and paper from metal. The heaviest bits settle to the bottom and lighter stuff is shaken to the top.


Step #8. Plastic bags all float to the top and are easily gathered together. 


Step #9. Next comes the scary bit - the baling machine. This squashes the sorted out recycling into tight cubes. Yikes! 


Step #10. Cubes of cans are stacked together like shiny hay bales to await their new life.


Step #11. The cubes are then collected by people who will turn them into new things.


Step #12. Paper cubes could become toilet roll, while plastic cubes could be melted down and spun into fleece jumpers!


Step #13. The raw materials leave the huge recycling plant to begin a brand new journey - they're on the road to another useful life. 


Meet your tour guides - Danny and Kirsty - who work at the recycling centre and who showed us around. Those are the smiling faces of people who know their work is helping to look after our enivronement, one plastic bottle at a time. Thank you, recycling!



And don't forget, you can help to make a difference too by re-using and recycling your stuff at home. Remember to take your shopping bags back to the supermarket when you go for the weekly food shop, and why not drop off your cans or glass at the bottle banks on the way? 


Want to see more? Check out this awesome video on the Wildlife Watch YouTube channel...