Save the planet

Confused about recycling?

You’re not alone!

Follow these five quick steps to own your impact and avoid contamination

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 recycling bin:

1. Some items look recyclable but aren’t. Recycling instructions on packaging can be misleading. Avoid putting the wrong things in your recycling by checking first –  use the Surrey Recycles search tool or download the free app.

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

3. No food or drink. Moisture such and grease and goo will ruin cardboard and paper and make it unrecyclable. Give plastic food and drink packaging a quick rinse by dunking it into soaking pans before placing in your recycling bin.

4. Place all items loose in your recycling bin – nothing inside bags, sacks or bin liners please.

5. Play to bin – try our drag and drop waste sorting game today!

The Recycling Detectives and Binterrogator tool are a great way to learn more about recycling and how to minimise the amount of waste we create at home. Making small changes like swapping to reusables where possible will help reduce the amount of waste we produce in Surrey overall. Find out more here.

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