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 only around 15% of Surrey's waste goes to landfill. In fact, none of Epsom & Ewell's waste goes to landfill any more. 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.
Recycling in the Borough has risen consistently over the last ten years. Epsom & Ewell residents now recycle just under half of all their household waste. Thank you.
In 2012/13 residents recycled nearly 13,000 tonnes of household waste through the Council's recycling services. 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, this year we enhanced black bin recycling to include cardboard, cartons and all plastics. You can now recycle around two thirds of your waste through our kerbside collection services.
- Over 2,500 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 on new ways to reduce packaging, or make it recyclable or compostable. For example, carrier bag usage has almost halved in the UK over the last few years.
In 2005, over 40 major retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and suppliers signed up to a voluntary agreement called the Courtauld Commitment. Through innovative packaging formats designed to reduce weight and increase recyclability, 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%.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has worked to increase the range of plastic packaging and other items we collect for recycling. For example, now you can 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.
In 2006 the Surrey Waste Partnership endorsed a strategy for waste management in Surrey. It set out a vision for managing Surrey's waste through to 2025 and incorporated significant targets for reducing and recycling waste.
In 2010, after public consultation, the strategy was updated. It incorporated higher recycling targets to reflect the excellent progress being made in Surrey and noted recent developments in waste treatment technologies.