Learn about recycling and waste

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Your waste

In the last financial year (1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019) you recycled 53% of your household waste.

That's the Borough's best ever result. It's well ahead of the average for England of about 45%. And you're bucking the national trend, where recycling has started to fall, including elsewhere in Surrey. So a huge thank you for your efforts.

What happens to your recycling?

Your recycling really does make a difference. Here's what happens to it.

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?

Last year we surveyed what people felt about Simply Weekly Recycling. In short, you love it:

  • 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 at the end of last year we sent out a new recycling guide to all houses, with a little more information than last time. There's a copy at the bottom of this page.

The full survey can be downloaded below. Thank you to everyone who responded.

Do I have to put my bin out every week?

No. Many people don't have much in their black refuse bin. So they just put it out when it gets full. It's up to you*.

*Please remember that  garden waste recycling is still a fortnightly service for subscribers.

What happens to your refuse?

In the old days, refuse went to landfill. But now the waste in your black refuse bin is burned to generate electricity. It's cheaper and much more environmentally friendly than landfill. But it's still much more expensive than recycling. Please recycle whatever you can.

So only about 6% of Surrey's total waste goes to landfill now. Typically that's large items that won't fit in bins and are hard to break down for burning.

What can you do to help?

Right thing, right bin. Check it out before you chuck it out.

Reduce, reuse or recycle as much as you can before you reach for the rubbish bin. Sites such as Freecycle or the Surrey Reuse Network could make it easy for you to find another home for your unwanted items. 

Please don't put something in your black rubbish bin if it can be recycled or reused.

Love food, hate waste

Every year across the UK 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink, worth £12 billion, goes to waste. 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. 

If you have to throw food away, please recycle it.

What about packaging and carrier bags?

Manufacturers are working to reduce packaging, or make it recyclable or compostable. Carrier bag usage has almost halved in the UK in recent years. Remember, you can use carrier bags to line your food waste recycling caddy.

Surrey's councils working together

The Surrey Environment Partnership is made up of Surrey'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.