Surrey has saved millions of pounds on its landfill tax bill by more than halving the amount of waste it buries in the ground.
In the three year period from 2007/08, the county council reduced the amount of waste it sent to landfill from 64% to 33%.
That means Surrey buried around 200,000 tonnes less waste* in 2010/11 than it did three years earlier.
Currently landfill tax cost £64 per tonne, so the county council would have to fork out £12.8 million in taxes alone to bury 200,000 tonnes of rubbish in the ground.
The reduction in landfill use is in part down to the good work Surrey has done in reaching a 50% household waste recycling target almost a decade ahead of schedule.
It can also be attributed to the fact Surrey residents threw out almost 76,000 tonnes less rubbish in 2010/11 than they did in 2007/08.
John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “We’ve taken great strides in reducing our reliance on landfill and our aim is to eliminate the use of it completely by 2014. It costs a lot of money and creates greenhouse gases which are bad for the environment.
“We’ll continue to help people reduce the amount of waste they produce and reuse or recycle as much as possible. Surrey has worked hard to improve its recycling rate to more than 50% but we won’t rest there. Our aim is to hit a 70% target by 2014.”
The drive to get more people composting has seen 12,000 cut price compost bins sold by the council over the past three years, helping to divert almost 4,000 tonnes of waste from landfill sites.
Love Food Surrey has been helping people to throw out less food by encouraging them to shop smarter and use leftovers, while the furniture reuse campaign has stopped more than 22,000 items of furniture being sent to landfill.
Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
* In 2007/08 the county council sent 377,000 tonnes (64%) of household waste to landfill, but by 2010/11 this had been more than halved to 169,000 tonnes (33%).
For more information on all the above waste campaigns visit www.surreywastepartnership.org.uk.