Learn about recycling and waste


Your waste - an overview

Every year Epsom & Ewell produces around 27,000 tonnes of household waste. About 54% is recycled. That's the waste you put in your green recycling bin, glass box, food bin or garden waste bin. Thanks to you, we're having our best year ever for recycling. In fact you are bucking the trend in Surrey, where recycling has recently fallen in general.

The refuse we collect in your black bin is burnt in energy-from-waste plants to generate electricity.

A very small amount of your waste does still go to landfill. But that's restricted only to some bulky waste which may be too large or complex to be broken up ready for the energy-from-waste process. So now only about 6% of all the waste we collect goes to landfill. That's tremendous result. Thank you.

Recycling's better

We like to recycle as much as we can because it's much cheaper than refuse, and even better for the environment than generating electricity. The message is clear: if we recycle more, residents will pay less and the environment will benefit.

What do people think about recycling in Epsom & Ewell?

Last year we surveyed what people felt about Simply Weekly Recycling. In short, residents love it:

  • The vast majority of respondents (96%) find it easy or very easy to understand the Big Switch, and to use the service thereafter.
  • The vast majority of respondents (90%) are satisfied or very satisfied with the service.
  • Nearly half of respondents said they recycle more with Simply Weekly Recycling. You might like to know that recycling has continued to rise since the Big Switch, bucking the trend of falling recycling generally in Surrey. Thank you.
  • A quarter of respondents said clearer guidance would help them recycle more. So towards the end of last year we sent out a new recycling guide to all houses, with a little more information than last time. You can download it below. We hope it's helpful.

That's just a snapshot of the survey's headline findings. The full survey can be downloaded below. Thank you to everyone who responded - we were delighted with how many people took the trouble to do so. And thank you for recycling. Your efforts really do make a difference.

Do I have to put my bin out every week?

Not if you don't want to. 

With Simply Weekly Recycling you don't have to worry about which week it is*. If you don't want to put your bin out, you don't have to. For example, many people tell us there's not much in their black refuse bin these days. So they just put it out when it eventually gets full. We're happy for you to make that choice.

*Please remember that  garden waste recycling is still a fortnightly service for subscribers.

What happens to the recycling that we collect?

We think this is the really interesting bit. What happens to your recycling after it is collected.

What can you do to help?

Remember to reduce, reuse or recycle as much as you can before you reach for the rubbish bin. Sites such as Freecycle or the Surrey Reuse Network could make it easy for you to find another home for your unwanted items. Please do not put something in your black rubbish bin if it can be recycled or reused.

Love food, hate waste

Every year across the 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink, worth £12 billion, goes to waste. Love Food Hate Waste aims to show families how they could save on their food shopping bill simply by throwing away less food. Find out about recipes and food facts that really pay. For tips on smart shopping, cooking less and clever food storage visit www.lovefoodsurrey.com.

What about packaging and carrier bags?

Manufacturers are working to reduce packaging, or make it recyclable or compostable. Carrier bag usage has almost halved in the UK in recent years. Remember, you can use carrier bags to line your food waste recycling caddy.

Surrey's councils working together

The Surrey Waste Partnership is made up of the county's eleven borough and district councils and Surrey County Council. We aim to manage Surrey's waste in the most efficient, economic and sustainable way possible.