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Surrey Recycles logoSEP 2025

A partnership approach to waste prevention and recycling 


Anaerobic digestionA process which uses micro-organisms (living things too small to be seen without a microscope) to break down biodegradable material.
BiodegradableAble to decay naturally and in a way that is not harmful.
Capture rateA measure of how much of material we are collecting for recycling.
Carbon neutralIf an organisation or activity is carbon neutral it does not add to the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, for example by doing things such as planting trees in order to remove as much carbon dioxide as it creates.
Circular economyA concept where products are kept in use for as long as possible, making it easier to reuse, repair, refurbish or recycle them.
Climate emergency declarationAn action taken to acknowledge climate change exists and the impact its causing is dangerous and requires immediate attention to address the situation.
Community Recycling CentreA place where Surrey residents can take household waste to be recycled or disposed of.
Composite packagingWhen two or more substances are combined to create one that can be used for packaging products.
Consistency in household and business recyclingA measure that encourages all local authorities and businesses to collect the same suite of materials for recycling.
ContaminationOccurs when materials that cannot be recycled are put in recycling bins.
DecarboniseA process to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide through the use of low carbon power sources.
Deposit return schemeWhere customers pay an upfront deposit on a product (such as a drinks bottle) which can be redeemed on return of the product.
DisposalThe last resort for managing waste where it is either landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery.
Dry mixed recyclingA combination of dry recyclables (paper, card, metal, plastic and glass) that are collected together.
Extended producer responsibilityWhere producers are given significant responsibility (financial or physical) for the recycling or disposal of products at the end of their life.
Fly-tippingThe illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it.
GasifierA facility that converts waste into energy.
Household wasteWaste generated by householders, of which the cost of disposal or reprocessing is included within council tax payments.
Joint Municipal Waste Management StrategyA legal requirement in a two-tier system of local government (county council and district, borough and city councils in an area) to have in place a joint strategy for the management of waste from households.
Mandatory labellingProducers are required to label all packaging types with ‘recycle’ or ‘do not recycle’.
Mono-material flexible polyethyleneA single type of flexible plastic.
Net-zeroMeans achieving a balance between the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, and the carbon dioxide removed from it.
RecoveryFor waste that can’t be recycled, it may be possible to recover energy in the form of ‘waste to energy’. Waste to energy is the process of incinerating non-recyclable waste to produce electricity.
RecyclingTurns waste into a new item or product, reducing the number of raw materials required.
RepairMending items such as clothes or electricals so that they can continue to be used.
ReuseUsing an item straight away without any processing – for example refilling a water bottle, using a bag for life, or passing on items when you have finished with them.
RubbishAnything that cannot be reused or recycled.
Single-useAny disposable item which is designed to be used only once.
Transfer stationWhere waste from various sources is consolidated before being further transported to an end point of disposal, usually landfill or waste to energy facilities, but can also include recycling.
WasteRefers to everything that is thrown away, recyclables and rubbish.
Zero wasteMeans that at least 90% of operational waste has been reduced, reused, repurposed or recycled compared to the original baseline (starting point for making comparisons).