Dawn In The Surrey Hills

Textile and small electrical waste

AreaTextile and small electrical waste per household (kg)
Epsom & Ewell13
Mole Valley24
Reigate & Banstead7
Surrey Heath25

How much textile and small electrical waste was produced?

13,580 tonnes of textile and small electrical waste was produced in Surrey in 2020-21. However, only 48.1% of this waste was recycled with the rest going into rubbish bins. Textiles are a particular problem with only 21.6% collected for recycling. Most areas of Surrey have a separate collection for textiles, as well as small electricals, and there are multiple options such as recycling banks and charity shops to recycle this waste elsewhere.

What happens to Surrey’s textile and small electrical waste?

After they have been collected, clothes and textiles are sorted into clothes that can be worn again and those that can’t. If they can, they are passed on to be resold as second-hand clothes. If not, they are turned into products like felt, insulation and stuffing.

Once small electricals are collected, they are taken to a reprocessing plant where they are shredded into small pieces. The different materials are then separated and can be used to help with shipbuilding, galvanising railings and lampposts, in jewellery or musical instruments.

How can Surrey residents produce less textile and small electrical waste?

Reducing the amount of textile and small electrical waste produced could make a positive impact on the environment. Some tips to reduce waste include:

  • Wear clothes for longer. Fast fashion may be good for clothes companies but it’s not good for the planet, so focus on making clothes last.
  • While it’s best for residents to reduce the amount of clothes they buy, if they find themselves with good quality clothes or working small electricals these could be given away to charity to find a new life and be loved again.
  • Repair clothes and small electricals. Residents can learn to repair items, either online or by doing a course, or there are repair cafés in Surrey where someone can help.

See also

Surrey’s target


70% of Surrey’s waste should be recycled.