Learn about recycling and waste

Quick guide to recycling

Where can I recycle it?

What if the Council can't recycle it?

Latest collections information

Waste collections today.

Can I recycle ... ?

It's really important to put the right thing in the right bin. What can I do if the Council can't recycle it? Why do we recycle fewer plastics now?

Put the right thing in!

Recently we've been having some issues with heavily-contaminated green recycling bins. We are seeing significant amounts of non-recyclable waste - especially nappies and sanitary waste - in green bins. This is reduces how much we can get recycled, costs residents more and is a health hazard for workers in recycling sorting plants. Non-recyclables, nappies and sanitary waste must be disposed of in your black bin. They will then be burnt to generate electricity.

It's more important than ever to put the right thing in the right bin.

What happens to your recycling?

Your recycling really does make a difference. Where does your recycling go and what happens to it?


Single-use plastics and the Council. Why do we recycle fewer plastics than we used to?

Recycling's better

Recycling is much cheaper than throwing waste away as refuse. It's better for the environment, with your waste being turned into something useful and economically valuable. Recycling needs less energy and fewer raw materials.

What do you think about recycling?

In 2019 we surveyed what people felt about Simply Weekly Recycling:

  • 96% found it easy or very easy to understand the Big Switch to Simply Weekly Recycling, and to use the service thereafter
  • 90% are satisfied or very satisfied with the service
  • Nearly half said they recycle more with Simply Weekly Recycling
  • A quarter said clearer guidance would help them recycle more. So now we send out a new recycling guide to all houses each year, with a little more information. There's a copy at the bottom of this page. And you can now use our online What goes where? guide

The full survey is at the bottom of this page. Thank you to everyone who responded.

Do I have to put all my bins out every collection day?

Yes please.

In this time of uncertainty, when collections could still be interrupted by staff shortages, we advise you to put your bins out on collection day whether they're full or not. That way we can get all your waste away as promptly as possible, leaving you with less of a problem if services are temporarily interrupted.

What happens to your refuse?

In the old days the refuse in your black bin went to landfill. Now it's burnt to generate electricity instead. But recycling is much cheaper and even better for the environment. Please recycle whatever you can.

A little bit of Surrey's waste - typically under 10% - does still go to landfill. Generally, that's large items that won't fit in your bin and are hard to break down for burning. That's a huge improvement since the early 2000s when over 90% of your waste went to landfill!

What can you do to help?

Surrey's councils working together

The Surrey Environment Partnership is made up of Surrey's eleven borough and district councils and Surrey County Council.

The national waste strategy

At the end of 2018 government announced its Resources and Waste Strategy for England. This wide-ranging strategy looks at things like developing new recycling technologies; stimulating the recycling markets in the UK; making producers pay for packaging waste collections; encouraging simpler and more easily-recyclable packaging; introducing a plastic packaging tax, and changing what and how councils collect for recycling.

Although it's now over four years since the government announced its strategy, we don't yet know full details of what will come out of it. There were public consultations in 2019 and 2021, and some announcements in 2022. We are told that there should be announcements in early 2023 about how councils might be told to collect recycling in a different way. We will carefully consider what the strategy outcomes say.

We hope that the government's strategy will reduce the amount of hard-to-recycle waste, and help residents to recycle more.

Simply weekly recycling logo

Simply weekly recycling logo



PDF icon Simply Weekly recycling survey results656.61 KB