Borough Insight

Recycling – the next level

We’re all pretty familiar with the concept of recycling. Most of us are aware of which items are destined for the recycling bins and which are not.

But what about upcycling?

Upcycling is a process where waste products and materials are repaired, repurpose and reused usually in a creative way.

When you upcycle something you enhance what is already there. An old coffee table with peeling paint is stripped, re-stained and varnished and used as a television stand, old ladders become plant display units and wooden wine boxes become shelves. The whole concept has become very hip and trendy.

While we may not have that much artistic flair when it comes upcycling and sustainable maintenance, we do try:

  • A sign on the Hogsmill was on its last legs, and our maintenance team decided that with bit of hard work and some replacement features the old sign could be renovated and reinstalled.
  • An old bench might have been due for the scrap heap but a little bit of TLC from the rangers brought it back to life and it’s now been installed at the top Dorking Road.
  • Redundant county council roadside railings destined for scrap, were repurposed and are now being used within Nonsuch Park




Your comments (1 comment)

  • Renuka de LimaNovember 08, 2019

    Well done with upcycling. As an allotmenteer I go skip diving (with permission!) and use some of what has been thrown out for my raised beds etc. However, I so wish you would still recycle clean plastic bags. I am using more Aldi bio bags for the kitchen waste for my compost bin and trying not to buy products that use plastic bags but there is still too much good plastic covering things that I buy which I now have to throw in the bin and which will end up in land fill. I am sure you have tried to find markets for it, but it is still a shame.

    You are correct and it is very frustrating that the market for plastic bags is so very poor. We are currently unable to find anyone who will take them (but we will continue to keep looking). They don’t go to landfill, because all of our black bin waste gets burned to generate electricity. So some good does come of them.

    We hope the situation will improve in the future. The government's waste strategy seems likely to push manufacturers into more recyclable packaging (and with greater recycled content in the first place).

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