Why worry about waste?
Epsom & Ewell alone produces around 27,000 tonnes of household waste each year.
Rubbish that we do not recycle has traditionally been disposed of in landfill sites. Rotting waste in landfill sites generates powerful greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Clearly, this had to change.
To discourage landfill, the government charges councils for each tonne of rubbish which is sent to landfill. Landfill Tax continues to rise steeply.
Across Surrey, work has taken place to avoid sending our non-recycled waste to landfill. Now, our waste that is not recycled is taken to an energy-from-waste plant in Kent and used as fuel to generate electricity.
How well are we doing with recycling?
Recycling is by far the best thing we can do with our waste.
Recycling provides valuable resources for industry to make new goods. It reduces reliance on raw materials and lowers carbon emissions from manufacture.
In 2013/14 residents recycled around 13,200 tonnes of household waste through the Council's recycling services, a record amount. That was just over 45% of total household waste. Thank you.
But there is more we can do. Some easily-recycled materials are still being throw into residents' green rubbish bins, such as:
To help residents recycle more, last year we enhanced our black recycling bin service to include cardboard, cartons and all plastics. You can now recycle around two thirds of your waste through our kerbside collection services.
- Over 3,000 tonnes a year of recyclable food waste
- Around 600 tonnes a year of recyclable paper
- Over 250 tonnes a year of recyclable clothing, textiles, shoes and accessories
- Around 100 tonnes a year of recyclable glass bottles and jars, and around 80 tonnes of recyclable tins and cans.
What happens to my recycling after it is collected?
We think this is the really interesting bit. What happens to recycling, and the End Destinations of Recycling Charter.
What can I do to help?
Please do not just throw something in your green rubbish bin if it can be recycled.
We make recycling easy with kerbside recycling collections and local recycling centres. Your recycling really counts.
Please remember to:
- Reduce: We only throw away what we buy in the first place. Often it is just packaging we neither want nor need. Carefully considering what we buy can help reduce waste
- Re-use: Energy is used to make things, even if they are recycled. By re-using we can postpone replacement - perhaps indefinitely. Sites such as Surrey Reuse Network and Freecycle could make it easy for you to find another home for your unwanted items
- Recycle: If you cannot reduce or re-use, recycling is easy to do and much better than simply throwing something away.
The benefits of reducing landfill and methane emissions are clear. Recycling reduces carbon emissions, even allowing for the fact that we must employ vehicles to collect the materials in the first place.
For example, it has been calculated that the energy saved by recycling cans, compared to manufacturing from raw materials, reduces their carbon footprint by nearly three quarters. Recycling also reduces our reliance on natural resources.
Contact us for full details of all our recycling services, or if you need extra containers to help you recycle more.
Love food, hate waste.
Do you love food but hate waste? 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink, worth £12 billion, goes to waste in the UK every year.
Love Food Hate Waste aims to show families how they could save on their food shopping bill, simply by throwing away less food. Find out about recipes and food facts that really pay.
For tips on smart shopping, cooking less and clever food storage visit www.lovefoodsurrey.com.
What about carrier bags and packaging?
The amount of packaging that councils have to collect is gradually reducing. Manufacturers are working to reduce packaging, or make it recyclable or compostable. Carrier bag usage has almost halved in the UK in recent years.
In 2005, over 40 major retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and suppliers signed up to a voluntary agreement called the Courtauld Commitment. They reduced packaging waste by 30%.
In 2010, 29 major retailers and brand owners signed up to the Courtauld Commitment 2. This aims to reduce the carbon impact of grocery packaging by 10%, reduce household food and drink waste by 4% and reduce waste in the grocery supply chain by 5%.
In Epsom & Ewell we have worked to increase the range of packaging items that we collect for recycling. You can now recycle all of your cardboard, cartons and plastics.
How are Surrey's councils working together to encourage recycling?
The Surrey Waste Partnership is made up of the county's eleven borough and district councils and Surrey County Council. We aim to manage Surrey's waste in the most efficient, economic and sustainable way possible.
The Partnership's strategy sets out a vision for managing Surrey's waste through to 2025 and incorporates significant targets for reducing and recycling waste.