Learn about recycling and waste


Right thing, right bin

Quick guide to what goes where

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

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 and was well ahead of the average for England (about 45%). And you're bucking the national trend, where recycling has started to fall, including elsewhere in Surrey.

So far this year (to end of September) you've recycled about 55%. That's above the Surrey average, which is already one of the best-performing areas in the country. You just keep getting better and better. A huge thank you for your efforts.

What happens to your recycling?

Your recycling really does make a difference. Where does your recycling go and what happens to it? Why do we recycle fewer plastics now?

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 your refuse went to landfill. Now it's burnt to generate electricity instead. That's much more environmentally friendly, and cheaper, but still not as good or cost-effective as recycling. Please recycle whatever you can.

Only about 10% 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. 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.