A sailing boat, an 8ft polystyrene snowman and a coffin are just some of the weird and wonderful items people have taken to Surrey County Council community recycling centres.
A tortoise had a lucky escape when it was accidentally tipped into a green waste bin before being spotted and an absent minded husband may have experienced the wrath of his wife when he threw out a bag of laundry instead of rubbish after picking up the wrong sack.
The willingness of Surrey councils and residents to recycle and not simply dump their rubbish into landfill has helped push the county’s household waste recycling rate to 50%, almost a decade ahead of schedule*.
This benefits the environment and saves Surrey taxpayers millions of pounds a year in reduced landfill costs**. The county is now aiming to hit a 70% household waste recycling target by 2014.
SITA Surrey runs community recycling centres on the county council’s behalf. Other unusual items dropped off include:
Two van loads of stamps
A grand piano
Diving equipment including an oxygen tank, wetsuit and fins
Items that can be recycled at community recycling centres include wood, metal, televisions, mobile phones, low energy light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, textiles and clothes among others.***
Dr Lynne Hack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “People’s willingness to recycle their rubbish was key to helping Surrey achieve a 50% household waste recycling rate. While we may not be able to recycle all the waste produced yet, we will work hard to treat everything we can, no matter how weird and wonderful it is. People may be surprised to learn just how wide the variety of materials we’re able to recycle in Surrey is.”
Notes to editors
* A Government target requires councils to recycle at least half their household waste by 2020, which means Surrey is nine years ahead of time.
** Sending Surrey’s waste to landfill costs taxpayers £600,000 every month in taxes alone.
*** To find out more about what materials can be recycled visit http://www.surreycc.gov.uk and search for ‘waste and recycling’.
For information on how to reduce the amount of food waste you produce visit Love Food Surrey
To find out more about Surrey’s home composting and furniture reuse campaigns visit Surrey Waste Partnership