Learn about recycling and waste

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Right thing, right bin

Quick guide to what goes where

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?

Your waste

In 2018/19 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 December) you've recycled about 56%. 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.

Checking if you can recycle it

Check our recent leaflet or our quick guide to what goes where. What if the Council can't recycle it?

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 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 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 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 till go to landfill. Typically 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.