Dawn In The Surrey Hills

Recycling in Surrey 2021-22


Recycling is a great way for residents to do something simple to help fight climate change, as the more material that is recycled the fewer resources are used to create new products.

We know that when residents are knowledgeable about and have confidence in the system that processes their recycling and rubbish, they want to recycle more. This report describes the recycling and rubbish produced in the county and what we did with it in 2021-22. We hope that by being transparent about what happens to our recycling and rubbish, it encourages residents to recycle more and helps the planet.

The good news is that when it comes to recycling in Surrey, we’re doing well. In 2021-22, 54.4% of the total waste produced was recycled, composted or reused, which puts Surrey in 3rd place out of 29 similar waste disposal authorities in England. And at 81.7%, most material that was recycled, composted or reused stayed in the UK to be turned into new products.

We’re confident that Surrey’s recycling was passed on to reputable organisations, whether at home or abroad, to be turned into new products. It’s incredible that residents’ food waste is being used to power homes, garden waste is helping new plants grow and plastic is being used to create clothing.

But sometimes material is found in recycling trucks that cannot actually be recycled, which could mean the whole truckload of material is rejected for recycling. Fortunately, in 2021-22 the amount of material not recycled for this reason fell by 624 tonnes, which is 71.2% less than the previous year.

Elsewhere in this report, residents can find simple tips and links to easy-to-use tools to help them put the right things in the right bins. This will help increase Surrey’s recycling rate and reduce the impact on the planet at the same time.

You’ll also find information about the overall amount of recycling and rubbish produced, what happened to Surrey’s rubbish, how we compare to other local authorities and how the picture is changing over time.

We’re rightly proud of what’s happening with recycling and rubbish in Surrey and we’re delighted with the efforts residents put into recycling as much as possible. But there’s plenty more work to be done. Our partnership’s aim is to manage Surrey’s waste in the most efficient, effective, economical and sustainable manner. So we want to move up the recycling league table and, ultimately, to help the environment and fight climate change. We hope you can join us on this journey.

Cllr Marisa Heath
Surrey Environment Partnership Chair