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Confused about recycling?

Published: 29 June 2021

Image of hands holding up recycling

Know before you throw

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, and it costs more for councils to deal with.

But as recycling can be confusing it's not surprising to know at least one unrecyclable item goes into our recycling each week – and across Surrey's population of approximately 1.2 million that quickly stacks up!

So why not try out these five recycling hacks?

  1. Test your recycling know-how. You can play an interactive recycling game on the Surrey Environment Partnership 'what to do with an item' web page to see what goes where. Enter the prize draw to win a planet friendly prize.
  2. If in doubt, check it out. Some items look recyclable but actually aren't, even if the label says so. Use the online search tool or download the Surrey Recycles app to 'know before you throw'. The app can be downloaded on Google Play for Android users or the App Store for iPhone users.
  3. Get it sorted. Food and garden waste, small electricals, batteries and textiles recycling are collected separately in most areas, they don't go in your recycling bin.
  4. Keep it clean and dry. No food or drink as moisture and grease will ruin cardboard and paper and make it unrecyclable. Empty, rinse and dry food and drink packaging.
  5. Loosen up. Place all items loose – nothing in bags, sacks or bin liners. Crews need to be able to quickly see the items to check they are recyclable.

Thank you for recycling. Every time you recycle right you protect the planet and save money that could be spent on essential services, it's definitely worth the effort.

Find out more by visiting the Surrey Environment Partnership website.

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