Skip Navigation LinksMerton Council ❮ Rubbish and recycling ❮ 

What happens to your recycling

Find out what happens to your recycling and rubbish after we collect it, where it's taken and what it’s turned into

Food waste

This is turned into fertiliser and biogas fuel, through a process called anaerobic digestion.

Paper, card, plastic, glass, cans and cartons

These are separated into different materials, cleaned and re-processed so that they can be used make new products.


Textiles are sent to developing countries for re-use where possible. Items of a lower quality are recycled to make wiping cloths for use in industry, and filling material for furniture and car seats.


Batteries contain a range of metals which are recovered and recycled into secondary raw material.

Garden waste

Garden waste is turned into compost. Garden waste is collected from the homes of people who subscribe to the service – non-subscribers can take garden waste to the Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Non-recyclable rubbish

Your non-recyclable rubbish is taken to the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility in Sutton, where it's burnt safely. The heat is used to generate electricity and the leftover ash is used in road building and construction.

Find out more

South London Waste Partnership: what happens to your recycling.