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Over Half of Surrey’s Food Waste is Wasted, and It’s Getting Worse

Published on: 28 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 2 Feb, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

Over 50,000 tonnes of Surrey’s food waste, that could be recycled, ends up in rubbish bins. That’s more than half of all the food waste the county produces.

And in the last five years the unrecycled food waste has increased by almost 20 per cent, according to new data released by the Surrey Environmental Partnership (SEP).

A previous analysis, carried out in 2016, revealed 42,430 tonnes was being put in the wrong bin (see Waste Report Reveals A Third Of Surrey’s Waste Incinerated With CO2 Emissions Uncaptured).

SEP said it could save Surrey councils “a whopping £4 million that could be spent on essential services” as it costs less to recycle food than it does to dispose of it as rubbish.

Cllr Neil Dallen, chair of SEP, in an interview with The Guildford Dragon NEWS in September 2021.

Chair of SEP, Cllr Neil Dallen, (Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Residents Association), said: “I’d encourage anyone who doesn’t recycle food waste to start now and for those who do, make sure that you’re putting as much as you can in your caddy.”

SEP are encouraging residents to reduce and recycle their food waste to help the environment. They said: “Free weekly collections mean it’s easy for residents to reduce their food waste footprint and help the planet. Residents can order a food waste caddy by contacting their local council.”

Residents can find more information about food waste recycling and tips on how to reduce the amount of food they waste on the SEP website.

The Dragon has previously highlighted the difficulties in households prompting calls for a reform of the way waste and materials are labelled (see: Local Labour Party’s Light-Hearted Look At Our Bewildering Recycling Decisions).

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Responses to Over Half of Surrey’s Food Waste is Wasted, and It’s Getting Worse

  1. Mark Stamp Reply

    January 28, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    Many blocks of flats don’t have food waste collection so that might be a good place to start. Also, supermarkets need to have smaller packages (or better just leave foodstuff loose) of fruit and veg. As someone living alone, I don’t want 10 carrots.

  2. Sue Warner Reply

    January 30, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    Totally agree with Mark, I live in a block of flats with no ability to recycle food waste. Supermarkets gear themselves to families, single people are penalised despite our large student population in Guildford. Like Mark, I do not want to buy anything in large bags, particularly in non-eco-friendly plastic.

  3. Sara Sims Reply

    January 31, 2022 at 11:49 am

    It seems that living in a block of flats means that is is impossible to reduce my food waste footprint. Given the COP26 promise to reduce methane emissions by 30%, I believe that GBC is missing a trick here, and will continue to do so with all the new high-rise flats being built. I pay a particular council tax band rate, but because I am living in a flat, I do not receive this particular facility.

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