Dawn In The Surrey Hills

Creating a greener, cleaner Surrey

Surrey Environment Partnership Review April 2019 – March 2020

Activity and achievements

Managing Surrey’s Waste

When the partnership was established, Surrey authorities’ collective recycling rate was ranked as the 13th highest of England’s 31 two-tier authorities (45.7%) according to statistics published by Defra. According to the latest statistics, published in December 2019, Surrey was ranked joint fourth highest of England’s 31 two-tier authorities for recycling in 2018-19, with a recycling rate of 55.3%.

Although this was a fall of one place in the national rankings since the previous year, the recycling rate increased in 2018-19 by 0.5 percentage points. The Defra publication also indicated that the amount of waste collected per person has continued to fall for the fifth successive year, and that Surrey is on track to meet its target to be in the top quartile of English authorities for waste collected per person by 2020. During the year, 10.8% of Surrey’s waste went to landfill.

This annual Defra report shows us how waste and recycling in Surrey compares with the rest of the country and covers the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. However, more recent figures covering the year to September 2019 reveal that Surrey’s recycling rate is now at around 56.3%. These figures also show that Surrey councils managed around 507,000 tonnes of waste and recycling, including around 285,000 tonnes of recycling. Surrey residents recycled close to 39,500 tonnes of food waste, up from around 38,500 tonnes in the previous year. The proportion of Surrey’s waste being sent to landfill is now lower, at around 6.6%, with over 35% of Surrey’s household waste now being sent to energy recovery facilities

In recent years there have been some significant challenges nationally with the markets for the UK’s dry mixed recycling, particularly those in the far east, and this continued to be the case this year. This has had an impact in Surrey, and it has been a key factor in determining the work we need to do to improve the quality as well as the quantity of the recycling collected across the partnership.

Surrey recycling: 2019 = 285,000 tonnes

See also

Surrey’s target


70% of Surrey’s waste should be recycled.