What happens to your waste

Have you ever wondered what happens to your waste and recycling once it's collected from your home?

Recycling bin
Rubbish bin
Garden waste


All of the recyclable materials from Hampshire's kerbside collections (cans, plastic bottles, paper, card, tins and empty aerosols) are sent to one of two Material Recovery Facilities in the county, in Portsmouth and Alton.

The materials are separated using a combination of manual and automatic processes, including magnets, conveyor belts and lasers, before being baled up and sent to private companies for recycling into new products.

Together, the two facilities are able to handle up to 157,000 tonnes of recyclables every year. 



Most of the non-recyclable waste collected from homes in Hampshire is taken to one of three Energy Recovery Facilities located in Marchwood, Chineham and Portsmouth.

These facilities safely incinerate the waste and use the heat from this process to create steam, in turn generating electricity which is fed to the National Grid.

Each year these facilities create the same amount of electricity to power 53,000 homes. 

Garden waste

 All the green garden waste collected at Hampshire's recycling centres, as well as that from any local collections, is taken to one of two composting sites in the county, Herriard near Basingstoke and Chilbolton near Stockbridge.

The green waste is composted in long heaps called windrows for 20 weeks and turned so it breaks down evenly. The finished product is 'Pro-Grow', a high quality soil conditioner that is available to buy at every recycling centre.

Together, the two sites process over 100,000 tonnes of compost material every year. 


 There is now only one landfill site open in Hampshire for disposing of household waste.

The only household waste currently landfilled is bulkier items delivered to recycling centres, but we are working to address this further and move as close to zero landfill as we can.

The County Council is also responsible for 11 closed former landfill sites, and has a duty to ensure that they are returned to nature as best as possible.

Hampshire sends less than 10% of its household waste to landfill - less than any other UK county council.