Thursley Nature Reserve In The Surrey Hills

Annual review

Surrey Environment Partnership
April 2020 – March 2021

Activity and achievements 2020-21

Managing Surrey’s waste: Contamination reduction

Tackling contamination of DMR is complex because it has many causes and there are several stages within the process where it could be addressed. As part of the 2020-21 programme, work took place to gain a detailed understanding of the current situation, processes and practices. This is essential to recommending further areas for development. Specific work took place in multiple areas.

Recycling information leafletsCrew training and engagement

  • Training and communications to enable crew members to identify contaminated bins and to explain the process to correctly ‘lock out’ a contaminated bin, i.e., not empty it, log it on the data system and notify the resident. This prevents contaminants from being emptied into the load and disrupts resident behaviour by leaving contaminated bins unemptied and providing them with information on what can and can’t be recycled via a paper hanger attached to their bin. It also improves the data collected by in-cab systems.
  • Training sessions were developed and trialled in Surrey Heath and Woking and focused on engaging with crews as Recycling Champions. Due to coronavirus the sessions were delayed until later in the year and delivered virtually crew by crew.
  • To accompany the training, printed sheets were created for crews to use while they are on their rounds, bin hangers were updated and explanatory postcards were created for crews to give to any residents who questioned them on their rounds.
  • Printed bulletins displayed in waste depots to continue engagement with crews are now being produced on a regular basis.
  • Prior to the training, five loads were rejected in Surrey Heath in January 2021 due to contamination. This reduced to just one load in May 2021.

Recycling information marketing materialContamination review

  • A process review of the policies and practices in place across the partnership to manage contamination took place. This provided key findings and recommendations for
    future work, which is being taken forward in the 2021-22 programme of work.
  • The review covered:
    • Opportunities in the process to reduce contamination.
    • Communicating with residents.
    • Thresholds for rejecting contaminated bins.
    • Crew engagement and training.
    • Information flows between collection authorities, waste transfer stations and material recycling facilities.
    • Data collection and processing.
    • Communal properties.
  • A new SEP contamination monthly project board has been formed to progress this work.

See also

Surrey’s target


70% of Surrey’s waste should be recycled.