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Demand for Surrey's waste collections soar and six things residents can do to help

Date: 

Monday, 20 April, 2020

(News source: published on behalf of Surrey Waste Partnership)

New figures reveal that waste and recycling collected from Surrey homes has shot up by 17% since the Coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced.

Hard-working bin crews across the county have collected an extra 2,199 tonnes of waste and recycling over the last two weeks compared to normal. This is equivalent to 22 blue whales, 174 double decker buses, 10 Boeing 747s or 1,100 Horse of the South statues.

The biggest rise came in garden waste, which saw a massive 50% (903 tonnes) increase with recycling up by 14% (473 tonnes), rubbish by 11% (730 tonnes) and food waste by 6% (93 tonnes).

With services pressured and limited capacity in the system, Surrey residents are being asked to do six things to help bin crews cope with such a heavy workload and keep services running as normal:

  1. Reduce and reuse – Waste less by using items again, only buying food you need, freezing food before it goes off and cooking or freezing leftovers.
  2. Recycle it right – Flatten and fold cardboard, wash and squash plastic and put the right things in the right bins by using the Surrey Recycles search tool and app.
  3. Get composting – Reduce your food and garden waste by composting at home.
  4. Make it easy to collect – Put your bins out early and leave them until they’ve been emptied and be considerate when parking your car on collection days.
  5. Care for your crew – Help crews stay safe by closing bin lids firmly so they don’t have to touch waste and wash your hands before and after touching bins. Give your crew a wave!
  6. Keep your clear-out – Hold onto waste you may have taken to currently closed community recycle centres until they reopen. Don’t leave waste outside charity shops or recycling banks – this is fly-tipping. And don’t burn waste as it can make it harder for people, especially those with coronavirus, to breathe.

Mike Goodman, Chairman of the Surrey Environment Partnership says: “Since more people are staying at home, we’ve seen some huge increases in the amount of waste and recycling residents in Surrey are producing.

“Surrey’s bin crews have been working fantastically hard to cope with it and their efforts have meant that in Surrey we’ve seen 92% of collection services running as normal, which is a great result during this challenging time.

“As well as saluting our crews I’d also ask residents to do their bit and follow our six ways to help them and keep services running.”

View the latest information on the Surrey Environment Partnership website