Waste and recycling facility types

There are many different types of waste and recycling facilities. Some are used for collection or storage, others sort the materials into different types (plastic, paper, aluminium, etc.), others use biological processes to create fertiliser or soil conditioner, some use heat to treat non-recyclable materials to create power.

To help you understand what different facilities there are, what types of materials they take in, what they do and what they produce, we have created a range of different factsheets which you will find in the links below.

Collection and handling facilities

At these facilities, waste and recycling is collected and stored for onward transport. There is no processing or treatment of materials unless on a multi-activity site (please see below).

For more information on collection and handling facilities, please view our factsheets:

Processing facilities

These facilities deal with input materials in some way, for example by separating mixed recyclables, or separating an item into its metal and plastic components.

For more information on processing facilities, please view our factsheets:

Treatment facilities

A treatment facility is a type of processing facility which reduces the quantity of input material either by using heat (thermal treatment) or a biological process. They also produce heat, electricity, fertilisers or other outputs.

Other facilities

There are other types of waste and recycling facilities which do not fall into any of the categories above. They include reprocessors (take in recyclable materials to turn them into new products), landfill sites (used for waste disposal) and multi-activity sites (which are made up of a combination of lots of different types of facilities).

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