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Sheffield floods - impact on recycling

Beighton MRF flooding
Beighton MRF flooding

Due to the recent heavy rainfall the Veolia materials recycling facility used to separate and sort the paper and card collected from blue bins across Sheffield, experienced significant flooding. 

The site located at Beighton handles around 20,000 tonnes of paper and card from Sheffield households each year. The facility separates the different types of paper and card which are then bailed and transported for recycling.

Following the flooding, every effort was made to recover all the paper and card bails being stored at the site, but some were contaminated by the floodwater and now cannot be sent for recycling. This material is being sent to Sheffield’s Energy Recovery Facility where it will be burned to produce heat and power.  All bails unaffected by the flooding will be recycled.

The damaged caused by the flooding, meant that the materials recycling facility was closed for a short period for repair. During this time Veolia used alternative sites to continue separating the paper and card collected from blue bins across Sheffield for recycling. The facility has now reopened and is operating as normal.

Gillian Charters, Head of Waste Management at Sheffield City Council, said: "The widespread flooding which affected Sheffield and other areas has caused challenges across the region. 

"We are strongly committed to ensuring that all material collected for recycling in Sheffield is recycled, but for reasons beyond our control, floodwater damage has meant that we have had no choice but to send some paper and card to our energy recovery facility, rather than for recycling.

“I would like to assure residents that all paper and card collected from blue bins since the flooding took place, has been taken to an alternative recycling site and will be sent for recycling, and that as with all our general waste collections, none of the affected materials will be sent to landfill.

"We ask residents to use all of the recycling services provided, and place all of their paper and card in their blue bin, and all glass, cans and plastic bottles in their brown bin.”

The recycling facilities used for the glass, cans and plastic bottles collected in the brown bins have not been affected by the flooding, and all materials collected will be recycled.  For more information about what happens to the waste and recycling collected from homes across Sheffield visit