Hundreds gather to see recycling behind the scenes

Hundreds gather to see recycling behind the scenes

On Saturday 2 June, the gates of Freighter House opened and 346 curious people came through to explore the intricate world of Chelmsford City Council's recycling and waste depot.

Located in Drovers Way, Boreham, most of the materials that are collected from homes across Chelmsford are prepared for recycling at the depot, which operates as both a sorting facility and waste transfer station. Ordinarily, it is bustling with vehicles bringing recycling in and whisking sorted materials off around the UK to be turned into something new.

For one day, however, it was crowded with visitors keen to learn how the recycling process works. Adults and children of all ages enjoyed a tour, including the chance to look around the Council's collection vehicles, and discovered the people and machines that turn trash into treasure.

Meanwhile, the city's Street Care services - also based at Freighter House - explained how they keep 1,400 miles of roads and paths clean and tidy across the city. Children especially enjoyed sitting behind the wheel of a street sweeper.

During their visit, explorers also tested their knowledge in a quiz and a winner was selected from those who answered correctly. Lucky visitor Ben Smith came away with a hamper of locally-sourced goodies to enjoy.

Councillor Malcolm Sismey, Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling, said, "The Recycling Open Day is always enormously popular, and for good reason. It's a day out with a difference, a chance to teach children about the importance of looking after our environment, and a great way to ask us questions about how we process your recycling and where it goes."

"In the wake of TV documentary Blue Planet II, a lot of this year's visitors were asking about plastics and were surprised how much could be recycled. It's not only bottles - plastic pots, trays and film can all go into the clear bags too. It all gets sorted here at Freighter House before being sent on to UK material merchants for reprocessing, so recycle your rubbish and we'll start it on the journey to becoming something new!"

Further information about recycling in Chelmsford can be found at

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