Why are we recycling so much?
Epsom & Ewell residents now recycle nearly half of their household waste, and this is still rising. You recycled over 46% in 2010/12. So far this year you have recycled almost 48%. Thank you.
There are compelling reasons to keep recycling more:
- Waste that is not recycled goes to landfill and creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. If we do not continue to recycle more, the environment will suffer
- The Government charges a Landfill Tax on every tonne of waste we send to landfill. This recently doubled in three years and continues to rise sharply. This year, your recycling will save around £800,000 in avoided Landfill Tax.
Why recycle white paper and cardboard separately?
White paper in your kerbside box or bag is valuable. We can sell white paper for a good income. The value of cardboard is much lower. By separating paper and cardboard into different containers you help us sell them to the right companies and get the best value for you.
This helps us to maintain one of the lower cost waste collection services in the country.
Why can I only recycle plastic bottles?
It is complex and expensive to sort and process the many types of plastic in use today. As a result, it is difficult to find a local company that will do this. However, plastic bottles are made from just two different types of plastic polymer, meaning that they are simple to reprocess.
We are working hard to expand our plastic recycling service to include other types of plastic, and also drink and soup cartons. We hope to be able to add these to your black recycling bin soon.
Do I have to recycle?
No, but we hope that you will appreciate the benefits of doing so.
You can continue to dispose of your household waste in your green wheelie bin if you wish, but please remember that it will now be collected fortnightly.
We hope that residents will continue to join our services and recycle more. There is certainly more to do. For example, although weekly food waste recycling collections have been running since 2009, last year we still threw over 2,500 tonnes of food waste away in our fortnightly rubbish bins. That alone costs around £160,000 in Landfill Tax that would be completely avoided simply by recycling.
Every single thing you recycle counts.
What happens to my recycling after it is collected?
We sell the materials that we collect to recycling companies. This helps us to keep our services as cost effective as possible.
Food waste is passed through special processes to safely compost the food and destroy all harmful germs. A rich, clean compost is produced for use in agriculture whilst the energy generated in the process is harnessed as biofuel.
||Cardboard and plastic bottles are processed into new packaging and other items. Did you know that a new fleece jacket can be made from just 10 recycled plastic bottles?|
Paper is turned into new newsprint. It takes just six days to go from kerbside box to newsstand.
||Glass bottles and jars are mostly recycled into more bottles and jars, but recycled glass can also be turned into pellets which are used as a subsurface in road-building.|
||Steel and aluminium cans are sent to recycling plants where they are recycled into a number of products - including new cans, of course! This uses only 5% of the energy that making brand new cans would take.|
||Household batteries are recycled into new batteries and other products.|
||Clean clothing and textiles may be reused or resold. Lower quality items may be recycled into other cloth products.|
||Garden waste is composted and used as soil-improver in major commercial projects.|
Why collect recycling in this way?
Putting your recycling into different containers helps us to separate materials efficiently before sending them to recycling companies.
Clean, sorted recycling has a greater value when we sell it to recycling companies and can be reprocessed into higher quality end products. This helps us to keep the cost of our services as low as possible.
Will the Council remove its recycling centres?
No. The recycling centres and Surrey County Council's Civic Amenity Site at Blenheim Road will remain in operation to complement these kerbside services.
Why must I recycle garden waste and food separately?
Garden waste undergoes a simple composting process. Regulations to protect public health mean that food waste must undergo a more complex and expensive process. This ensures that all harmful bacteria are eliminated.
If both types of waste were collected together, both would have to undergo the more complex process required for food waste. This would be unnecessarily costly.
Do not put any food waste in your garden waste bin. It will not be collected.