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SURREY COUNCILS TAKE MAJOR STEP TOWARDS WASTE SOLUTION

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Surrey has moved a step closer to finding a new way of dealing with the 600,000 tonnes of household waste created i...
Surrey has moved a step closer to finding a new way of dealing with the 600,000 tonnes of household waste created in the county - after all councils in the county agreed to consult on a 20-year joint waste strategy.

The Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy (JMWMS) is a proposal agreed by the county council and Surrey's 11 district and borough councils, and aims to make Surrey one of the greenest counties in the UK.

The plan will now be subject to a formal, six-week public consultation beginning on 22 May and run by the group which represents all 12 councils in Surrey, the Surrey Local Government Association.

The JMWMS aims to cut Surrey's reliance on landfill - an expensive, unsustainable method for disposing of waste - and instead shift the focus to making the county greener by increasing the recycling rate from the current average of around 25% to an ambitious 60%. This would leave just 40% that needs to be treated and disposed of.

It is led by the 'Three R's' principle, which set out the priorities as follows:

1.Reducing the rubbish we as residents create in the first place

2.Re-using whatever materials we can to reduce the waste mountain

3.Recycling more materials to reduce the amount we need to dispose of

SLGA chairman Christine Stevens said: 'We cannot stress enough the importance of this consultation - it is a major step towards finding a waste solution that will halt the rise of Surrey's waste mountain and see us moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future for the county.

'Everybody has a responsibility in waste - on average, every resident in Surrey generates six times their own bodyweight each year in household waste, and this consultation tackles how we get away from that.

SLGA vice chairman Moira Gibson said: 'The draft strategy is the product of a great deal of work by Surrey councils. It builds on work we have done over recent years and we want to take it all a major step further. We need the views of all our residents to help us to do that and we hope as many people as possible will respond to the consultation.'

More information about the consultation can be found at www.surreywaste.info, or from local district or borough councils.

Notes

1.The JMWMS is a joint plan, with input from the authority responsible for disposing of waste (Surrey CC) and the authorities responsible for collecting it from homes (borough and district councils).

2.The strategy has been pulled together because Surrey's traditional method of disposing of waste - landfill - is unsustainable and increasingly expensive for taxpayers;

3.The consultation will run for six weeks, from 22 May.

4.More information on the consultation and how to take part can be found at www.surreywaste.info

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