Consultation on recycling and waste in Surrey
Give us your views on recycling and waste in Surrey.
Watch our recycling video
Watch our recycling video, produced with the help of Epsom & Ewell residents.
Why worry about waste?
Epsom & Ewell alone produces around 27,000 tonnes of household waste each year.
None recycled waste has traditionally been sent to landfill. But landfill generates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. To discourage this, the government charges councils for every tonne of landfilled waste. This Landfill Tax has risen sharply.
Across Surrey, work has taken place to recycle more and to reduce 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 much do we recycle?
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 our total household waste. Thank you.
Can we recycle more?
Yes. Although up to two thirds of your waste could easily be recycled some recyclable waste is still being throw into residents' green rubbish bins, such as:
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.
Does it really matter?
Most certainly. Recycling reduces landfill and associated methane emissions. And it reduces carbon emissions by reducing the amount of raw materials and energy in manufacture. For example, recycling cans, rather than making new ones, reduces their carbon footprint by nearly three quarters.
What can I do to help?
Remember to reduce, re-use or recycle as much as you can before you reach for the rubbish bin. Sites such as the Surrey Reuse Network or Freecycle could make it easy for you to find another home for your unwanted items.
Please do not put something in your green rubbish bin if it can be recycled.
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?
You can recycle your carrier bags and packaging in your black recycling bin.
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%.
How are Surrey's councils working together?
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.