Save the planet

Confused about recycling?

You’re not alone!

How to boss your bins and own your impact

It’s always a good idea to ‘know before you throw’ as putting the wrong items in the recycling bin can spoil the rest of the recycling (known as ‘wish-cycling’) which is expensive for local councils to sort out, negatively affects Surrey’s recycling rate and is damaging for the environment.

But with local variations to what can be recycled – and how – it’s not always straightforward!

That’s why we’ve put together these five quick wins for your bins:

1. Some items look recyclable but aren’t. Avoid wish-cycling by using our recycling search tool or the free Surrey Recycles app to always check before you chuck.

2. Refresh your knowledge of what can and can’t be recycled here in Surrey – the planet will thank you. Play our drag and drop waste sorting game to find out more.

3. Check what you can recycle separately. Food and garden waste, small electricals, batteries and textiles are collected separately in most areas of Surrey – they don’t go in your recycling bin. Use the recycling search tool or download the free Surrey Recycles app to check.

4. No food or drink as moisture and grease will ruin cardboard and paper and make it unrecyclable. Please empty, rinse and dry food and drink packaging.

5. Place all items loose in your recycling bin – nothing in bags, sacks or bin liners please.  Crews need to be able to quickly see the items to check they are recyclable.

Download and print our handy guide to misleading items that are often wish-cycled:


And finally, don’t forget small changes like swapping to reusables where possible will really help too, as you’ll be creating less for your bins in the first place.