‘Biggest shake up in 20 years’ sees Tandridge halve waste to landfill

One of Surrey's worst-performing recycling authorities, Tandridge Council, has introduced a collection scheme that has halved residual waste going to landfill and could save it £1m a year.

In its first week since being rolled out by municipal services contractor Biffa, the council’s usual recycling rate has improved by over 40%.

By increasing diversion from landfill, Tandridge aims to double its recycling, reuse and composting rate from the current 3%, the lowest in Surrey, to 60% or better.

The scheme will tackle the 19,000 tonnes of waste, including around 6,000 tonnes of waste food, sent annually by the council to landfill.

During the fortnightly collection cycle, fully commingled dry recyclables are collected from 240 litre bins on one week, while residual waste is collected the following week. The new scheme aims to enable residents to recycle a wider range of dry recyclable materials, such as paper, cans, aerosols, foil, glass, and plastics.

A new food waste service has also been introduced, with kitchen caddies being collected each week by the same crews alongside recycling or residual waste.

Biffa business manager Mark Hudson said that in the first week of the new service, his crews collected 38 tonnes of food waste, 82 tonnes of recyclables, and 134 tonnes of residual waste.

He explained: “This equates to a recycling rate of around 47%, which is a fantastic achievement by the residents. In the same week of 2011, we collected 287 tonnes of residual waste, and so have halved that already.”

Tandridge District Council community services committee chairman, Councillor Tony Elias, claimed the new service represented the biggest shake-up of the district’s recycling and refuse service for nearly 20 years.

He said: “We faced the pressures of a significant cut on our central government grant, while maintaining or enhancing local services. The new service should help us transform our local recycling rate, which will bring important cost savings.”

Conor McGlone

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