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Tel: 01372 732000
 07950 080202

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Town Hall
The Parade
KT18 5BY


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How much are we recycling?

Epsom & Ewell residents now recycle nearly half of their household waste.  You recycled nearly 46% in 2012/13.  So far this year you have recycled almost 47%.  Thank you.

But recycling in Epsom & Ewell has started to plateau after years of growth.  To help you recycle more we recently added all plastics and cartons to your black recycling bin.  

Residents have welcomed that enhancement but still some waste that could be recycled is being thrown away in rubbish bins.  For example, a recent study of our rubbish stream showed that 10% is recyclable paper and card; 4% is recyclable glass bottles and jars and 5% is textiles.

There are compelling reasons to keep recycling more.  Non-recycled waste may end up in landfill, costing residents through Landfill Tax and harming the environment.  And recycled goods reduce our dependence on the earth's natural resources.

Please help us to recycle more.

Why are white paper and cardboard recycled in different containers?

White paper is recycled in your kerbside box or bag.  Cardboard is recycled in your black bin.

This is because white paper is much more valuable than cardboard.  By separating it, we can sell white paper for a good income.  We set that income against our service costs to help get the best value for you.  This helps us to maintain one of the lower cost waste collection services in the country.

Why have we only recently started collecting all plastics?

It is complex and expensive to sort and process the many types of plastic in use today. As a result, it has been difficult to find a company that will do this cost effectively.  But last year, investments in a local sorting plant allowed us to start sending all types of plastics for recycling.

Do I have to recycle?

No, but we hope that you will want to.  Recycling really counts.  And recycling is easy, with so many things now recycled from the kerbside.

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.

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.

Image of food waste

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.

Image of cardboard, cartons and plastics

Cardboard and plastics can processed into new packaging and other items.  Did you know that a new fleece jacket can be made from just 10 recycled plastic bottles?  Some plastic is even made into synthetic diesel.  Cartons are made into plasterboard for buildings. 

Image of paper

Paper is turned into new newsprint.  It takes just six days to go from kerbside box to news-stand.

Image of glass bottles and jars

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.

Image of cans

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.

Image of household battery

Household batteries are recycled into new batteries and other products.
 Image of clothing and textiles Clean clothing and textiles may be reused or resold.  Lower quality items may be recycled into other cloth products.
Image of garden waste  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.

Image of recycle logo

Image of Surrey Waste Partnership logo

page updated: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 © Epsom & Ewell Borough Council 2015