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Sefton bins FAQs

Each week residents in Sefton fill their bins and wave good bye to their waste, but what happens to the waste once it’s been collected?

This guide will provide insight on what kind of waste can be recycled, what happens to the waste after our bin lorries have collected it and what happens to the waste that can’t be recycled.

What goes in my bin?

In Sefton, brown bins and hessian sacks are used for recyclable waste.

It’s important to understand exactly what materials can be recycled and how this should be presented. Visit to find out exactly what can and can’t be recycled.

Remember to never put your recycling in bin liners, plastic bags or refuse sacks of any kind. These types of bags and normal waste can’t be separated from your recycling. The bags also damage equipment and increase the costs of dealing with your waste.

Putting bags and normal waste in recycling collections is a waste of your time and effort – and means we can’t recycle.

Green bins are collected seasonally and are used for garden waste such as grass clippings, tree and shrub clippings, weeds, dead flowers and leaves.

Any items which cannot be recycled or put in your green bin, should be put in your grey bin (or in refuse sacks where sack collections are in place).

Some households may also have a food waste recycling box, this is used for fruit and vegetable peelings, cooked food, raw meat & fish, bones, leftover food/plate scrapings.

What happens to my recyclable waste once it’s been collected?

Once the council bin lorries have collected your recyclable waste, it is brought to the Gilmoss Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

Merseyside & Halton’s MRFs have the capacity to process over 200,000 tonnes per year, producing seven secondary raw material grades and diverting more than 63,000 tonnes away from disposal.

At the MRF, a complex system of conveyors transport the recyclable material through the sorting process. The waste goes through both manual and mechanical checks to separate the waste in to steel, paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium and plastic.

Any contaminated waste is removed by hand and sent to the Energy from Waste facility where it is used to create fuel for heat and electricity.

After the sorting of the materials, balers are used to compress some of the recyclables into dense bales for transport and sent to facilities across the country where it is used to create secondary raw materials.

What happens to my green waste once it’s been collected?

Once your green waste has been collected it is delivered to White Moss’ composting site in Kirkby.

Over the course of 12 weeks the green waste is transformed in to compost and blended with forestry bi-products such as wood-fines so that it can be recycled into quality compost that is sold in bulk to local and national landscapers and groundwork companies.

What happens to the waste we can’t recycle?

Despite our best efforts to reuse and recycle, there will always be some waste where these options are not possible. This waste can be used as potential fuel that can give value in the form of energy- this is known as Energy from Waste.

Sending waste to landfill is no longer an option because when it rots it releases methane; this is a greenhouse gas that is a major contributor to climate change. Therefore, producing energy from waste is the best way to divert rubbish away from landfill.

Energy from Waste is a tried and tested technology that converts waste into fuel that can be used to generate heat and electricity by burning it at a high temperature.

Sefton’s waste is transported via rail from the Rail Transfer Loading Station in Kirkby to the Energy from Waste plan in Wilton. This facility accepts household bin rubbish, street cleansing waste and waste from MRFs.

It includes all of the things that can’t be recycled including plastic pots, tubs and trays, plastic film and plastic bags. If you’re unsure about which items can and can’t be recycled visit

The Energy from Waste system has diverted more that 92% of rubbish bin waste from Merseyside and Halton away from landfill disposal. This has generated enough energy to power around 60,000 homes.