SEP 2025 Cover image

Surrey Recycles logoSEP 2025

A partnership approach to waste prevention and recycling 

The partnership approach to delivering our vision and priorities


We appointed Eunomia Research and Consulting to develop a long-term waste flow model for Surrey. The model was created to help us understand how far upcoming national changes and the work we do will get us towards achieving national and existing local targets. Working with Eunomia, we reviewed a range of different scenarios to enable us to set realistic targets for the next three years (the monitoring period of SEP 2025) that keep us on track in the short term to meet longer term national targets. Our partnership targets are set out in Table 2 below.

Table 2: SEP 2025 targets

MeasureSEP 2025 (monitoring period)
Residual waste per household (KG)471.0461.0449.0446.0
Recycling rate (inc DRS)54.4%56.0%57.0%58.0%
Food waste capture rate43.0%648.0%7
DMR contamination rate8.9%<8.0%<8.0%<8.0%
Waste to landfill15.1%<6.0%<3.0%8<3.0%

5. Data for a financial year is confirmed and made available to the public once information has been validated by the WasteDataFlow team and the Environment Agency. This usually happens on the following December.
6. Figure from 2021 composition analysis.
7. To be measured when the next composition analysis is carried out in 2024/25.
8. Aligns with SCC’s target set out in their waste disposal contract re-procurement.

The targets set out above have factored in the following measures that we think will happen nationally and locally over this three-year period:

National measures

  • The SUP bans on plastic plates and cups, balloon sticks, polystyrene cups, expanded polystyrene food boxes, trays and pots come in from April 2023.
  • The implementation of EPR from 2024, through a combination of mandatory labelling, consistency in collections and national communications campaigns, is expected to increase capture rates of recyclable packaging material.
  • It is expected that there will be a change in waste composition due to EPR fee modulation and recyclability requirements when this comes in from 2025. There is likely to be a shift from non-recyclable pots, tubs and trays and composite packaging to recyclable alternatives, and some change from flexible composites to mono-material flexible polyethylene. There could be further changes in the recyclability of ‘other plastics’; more challenging formats (composite flexible packaging and tubes) could also become recyclable.
  • The UK Government introduce an additional set of core materials that must be collected at the kerbside for recycling. This will result in kerbside collections of at least cartons, aluminium foil and trays (from 2024), and film and plastic bags (from 2027).
  • The UK Government introduce a DRS for plastic bottles and cans from late 2024, whereby materials will be returned via a separate network, but the recycling rate is apportioned to local authorities.

Local measures

  • Food waste collections will be rolled out to all flats in Surrey where space and operations permit.
  • The food waste recycling and DMR contamination reduction intervention work will continue to be developed and delivered by SEP in collaboration with Surrey’s councils.
  • SEP will continue to encourage Surrey residents through multiple platforms to participate in food waste recycling.

Food recycling

Strategic objectives and actions

To address our priorities above and meet our targets, we must deliver the work which is described in the strategic objectives and key actions in Table 3 below.

Table 3: List of strategic objectives and key actions

Strategic objectiveKey actions
Deliver joint work programmes that focus on partnership prioritiesContinued creation of annual work programmes that address the key priorities of the partnership
to reduce waste, increase food waste recycling, reduce contamination to improve the quality and quantity of DMR and decarbonise our vehicle fleet. This will move to a new level of focus which will tie in with the individual authority delivery plans mentioned below.

Develop an infrastructure and transport plan that enables us to comply with the RaWS and key emerging policy; and decarbonise the fleet ideally by 2030 but in line with existing local authority policies.

Develop key countywide strategies for reuse and litter.
Set local targets and actionsDevelop and agree annual performance indicators for each Surrey council that will contribute towards the overall partnership targets, along with individualised delivery plans that will enable the realisation of local and countywide targets.
Exploit further opportunities
to work jointly
Build on past work and look at opportunities to carry out joint processes where viable to procure required products (vehicles and bins/containers) to introduce consistent collections as determined by emerging Government policy.
Respond to policyContinue to respond to consultations held by Government on proposed policy to ensure our collective views are heard and that SEP 2025 remains aligned.

Engage positively with industry groups such as the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT), The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) and The National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO) to raise concerns and share thoughts and ideas on future policy and its implementation.
Adopt best practiceContinue to research top performing authorities in England that are comparable to Surrey’s
authorities using rurality and deprivation as a starting point, and overlaying delivery factors,
and then feed this learning into the development of the above annual work programmes and individual delivery plans.

Work with the fly-tipping enforcement teams to continue to share and develop intelligence, knowledge and best practice.


Progress against the targets, key actions including the annual SEP work programme and local delivery plans will be monitored quarterly. A standard template will be developed for this, and it will be reported back to the SEP Officers and Members Group at their quarterly meetings.


Targets and the work programme/individual delivery plans will be reviewed annually with adjustments to targets made where necessary including adding new projects to the annual SEP work programme and individual delivery plans, where required to support target achievement. This will be developed and agreed with the SEP Officers and Members Groups.

Revision process

SEP 2025 is set to run to 2025. At the start of 2025 (the final year for SEP 2025) we’ll begin work on developing a new Surrey JMWMS. At this point we should have further clarity from Government on the way forward following the implementation of the RaWS measures which are set to start from 2024–25. Once the Surrey JMWMS is drafted, consulted on, approved and adopted, this will be our new plan for partnership working from 2026.

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