Learn about recycling and waste

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Why worry about waste?

Every year Epsom & Ewell produces around 27,000 tonnes of household waste. These days only a tiny fraction of your waste goes to landfill - about 6% of all of your waste.

The rest of the waste in your black refuse bins is burnt to generate electricity. That's great news. But generating electricity from waste is still very expensive indeed. In 2017/18 it cost around £1.5 million to dispose of your refuse.

Recycling's better

Recycling is much cheaper than refuse, and even better for the environment than generating electricity. By recycling more than ever in 2017/18, you reduced your bill for refuse disposal by around £200,000 compared to the previous year. So the message is clear. If we recycle more, residents will pay less and the environment will benefit.

How has the Big Switch affected recycling?

In 2016/17 residents recycled about 48% of their total waste. But in the summer of 2017 we launched the Big Switch to Simply Weekly Recycling. It pushed recycling for 2017/18 to 51%, our best ever result. Thank you. 

What now?

We want to reach 54% recycling in 2018/19. We need your help. Please recycle as much as you can. Remember, everything you put in your black refuse bin hurts your pocket and the environment.

Do I have to put my bin out every week?

Since the Big Switch people have asked us "Do I really have to put my bin out every week?" That's especially true of refuse bins.

The answer is simple: it's up to you. With Simply Weekly Recycling you don't have to worry about which week it is. You have the freedom each week to put your bin out if you want to, or not. Many people tell us that they don't have much to put in their black refuse bin. So you can simply put it out when it eventually gets full. We're happy for you to make that choice.

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

What happens to the recycling that we collect?

We think this is the really interesting bit. What happens to your recycling after it is collected.

What can you do to help?

Remember to 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 do not put something in your black rubbish bin if it can be recycled or reused.

Love food, hate waste

Every year across the 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.

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 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.