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Surrey Bin Crews Pick Up More Than 2,000 Extra Tonnes of Waste Since Lockdown

Published on: 18 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 20 Apr, 2020

The county’s binmen are picking up 17 per cent more domestic waste and recycling since the coronavirus lockdown started, new figures show.

The hard-pressed crews collected an extra 2,199 tonnes of both in the past two weeks compared to normal. This is equivalent to the combined weight of 22 blue whales or 174 double-decker buses or 10 Boeing 747s or even 1,100 Horse of the South statues.

The biggest rise was in garden waste, which rose 50 per cent (903 tonnes), with recycling up 14 per cent (473 tonnes), rubbish by 11 per cent (730 tonnes) and food waste by 6 per cent (93 tonnes).

The county council has asked residents to take six steps to help reduce this massive workload on the crews and keep services operating:

  1. Reduce and reuse  Waste less by using items again, buying only food you need, freezing it 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, using the Surrey Recycles search tool and app;
  3. Get composting Reduce your food and garden waste by home composting;
  4. Make collection easy 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  Give the lads a wave and help them stay safe by closing bin lids firmly so they don’t have to touch waste, and wash your hands before and after touching bins; and
  6. Keep your clear-out Hold on to waste that belongs in community recycle centres until they reopen. To leave waste outside charity shops or recycling banks is illegal fly-tipping. And don’t burn waste because the fumes can seriously affect neighbours with breathing ailments.

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

“The bin crews have been working fantastically hard to cope and their efforts have meant that in Surrey we’ve 92% of collection services running as normal, 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.”

The latest information on how residents can help can be found on the Surrey Environment Partnership website.


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