Where does your recycling really end up?

Yesterday, we heard concerns from the National Audit Office that a significant amount of items recycled in the UK could in fact end up in landfill abroad.“

Most people are unaware that most of our recycling goes abroad,” said Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs. 

n the UK we do not have the infrastructure to handle all our recycling so some of it is distributed to other countries to be treated. This means some of our recycling could end up in landfill without us knowing, but does not take away from the fact that a lot of recycling is still processed correctly overseas.     

It is also important to highlight that a lot of the UK’s recycling is in fact processed in the UK and that you can find out, through your local council where your recycling really ends up. 

For example, in several London Boroughs, including Hackney, Camden and Waltham Forest, all recycling sacks are sorted and processed within London itself at Bywaters recycling facility

What’s more, the UK is making impressive strides in recycling, shown by continual increases in our recycling rates. Last year we achieved a 64% improvement rate surpassing the 55% target set by the EU.

There are also simple steps we can take to reduce our plastic waste and help this issue. With Plastic Free July in full swing, we are encouraging our members to avoid single-use plastics and re-use disposable items wherever possible. Check out our recent blog post for tips on how to achieve this. 

Through our Recycling Rewards schemes we reward residents for recycling and reusing, encouraging everyone to reduce their household waste. We aim to increase awareness around recycling, as well as motivate residents to recycle more, by using rewards, gamification, an innovative online platform, web app and communications campaign. 

In Camden, thanks to our Camden Recycling Rewards, residents in the London Borough of Camden are recycling 10% more of their household items than they did last year. For more information or to request a case study please get in touch at info@localgreenpoints.com

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Bethany Fruen

Head of Communications

Bethany Fruen

Since joining Jump fresh out of university back in 2013 I’ve seen many changes in the way we communicate – both as a company and more widely within the sustainability industry. The current shift of sustainability to the mainstream is accelerating at a pace and it’s exciting to be part of this step change.  The insight I get from individual participants in our client programmes is invaluable as it helps me figure out the best way to get our messages across.

My team and I use digital communications to recognise individual and team success, providing information in a fun, meaningful way that encourages people to take action. It’s about creating a feedback loop where people see that their actions are having an impact and this is very powerful in creating positive change within an organisation.


Graham Simmonds

Chief Executive

Graham Simmonds

As CEO of Jump I lead a talented team of professionals committed to sustainability and wellness.  For much of my 35 year career I’ve been immersed in environmental issues, particularly how to engage people in practical action.  Previously I built Trees for Cities from start-up to a global, award-winning charity as its founding chief executive, and I loved developing new initiatives such as The Edible Playground and the Million Trees Campaign.  

In 2011 I set up Jump as I felt organisations large and small want to motivate action amongst their people around wellbeing and the planet, and a professional team dedicated to this purpose would help them accelerate their journey.  I’m also proud to chair the Reward Gateway Foundation which supports organisations and projects that address inequality and disadvantage, with the ultimate mission of making the world a better, fairer, safer and more equal place to work.