Frequently Asked Questions

1.   What can be done with the 40% residual waste once we reach recycling levels of 60%?

Read the GAIN report - this report explains how Surrey can deal with its waste by using proven techniques that are flexible, sustainable and compliant with the latest EC Directives.

2. What's the alternative to incineration?

       Reduce - less packaging

       Re-use - e.g. glass milk bottles, Sainsbury's bags and boxes.

       Recycling – bottles, cans, newspapers, cardboard and so much more.


from the Recycling Team (01483 444499)


Buy recycled product goods where possible.


Additional information and Links


       Home Composting -

o      Composters

o      Green Cones

o      Wormeries


Guildford Borough Council gives advice and offers subsidised items

to aid Guildford residents in this environmentally friendly option.


       Nappies - choose real nappies rather than disposable.

Modern wraps can either be washed at home or there are

a number of nappy laundry services in the area:

Cotton Bottoms (01798 875300) and Easy Peasy (01959 534207)

The Nappy Biz  (01483 833640)


       Anaerobic Digestion - industrial bacteria eat organic waste.


       Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) – a form of large scale mechanically assisted composting

3. How much are we recycling now, what do we need to achieve and what do other countries do?

In the UK the average rate is approximately 9.4% for household recycling, In the UK 90% of household waste goes to landfill.

The Government has set a target for authorities (like Surrey) to double their household waste recycling and composting by 2004. By 2005 Surrey will be expected to recycle and compost three times the current rate.

European Landfill directive (1999/31/EC Landfill Directive) aims to cut household waste going to landfill by 50% by 2006.

European recovery rates are generally much higher, in the range 35%-80%.

4. Where are other incineration plants situated similar to the Guildford proposal?

At Lewisham ('SELCHP' run by Onyx) is a 420,000 tonne 'energy from waste' incinerator, which has not yet started providing any 'community heating' (CHP).

Hampshire currently recycles 16.6% of its waste (1998). Project Integra (Hampshire Council and Waste Industry) proposes 3 incinerators together capable of processing 420,000 tonnes a year of household waste. These are to be located in the North, South West and South East regions of Hampshire with capacities of 90,000, 165,000 and 165,000 tonnes a year respectively to handle household waste generated in those areas.

5. What's their safety record?

The new incinerator at Lewisham ('SELCHP' run by Onyx) had 111 unauthorised emissions between 1996 and 1999.

Thames Water (the parent company of TWM) was prosecuted 8 times for breaching environmental regulations in 1999.

6. What do other countries do with their waste?

In countries like Britain, Greece and Ireland landfill is the main disposal method.

France, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and some US states have well developed waste composting facilities and Portugal has the highest rate of municipal composting, 13.5%.

7. When did they stop incineration and why?

In December 1996 the EEC 89/369 Directive on Air Pollution came into force, which meant that approximately one third of the incineration plants in the UK were forced to close due to failure to meet the emissions standards.

8. How many more plants are planned for the UK?

The Government has been quoted as saying there could be a need for between 65 and 180 new incinerators in counties all across the UK.

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