Background to the Eco Park
The district and borough councils in Surrey are responsible for collecting municipal waste. This is mainly waste from households, together with some waste collected from local businesses. Surrey County Council is responsible for providing facilities to treat and dispose of this waste. It asked SUEZ recycling and recovery Surrey (previously known as SITA Surrey), its contractor, to develop facilities to treat a third of the county's household waste, and the site at Charlton Lane was selected to develop an Eco Park.
Surrey's household waste
Each year Surrey households produce over 500,000 tonnes of waste. Just over half of this is sent for recycling and the rest needs to be disposed of, either at energy recovery facilities or landfill. From a cost and environmental perspective, landfill is the least favourable disposal option.
Currently there are no energy recovery facilities within Surrey and the waste is transported outside of Surrey and in some cases outside of the UK for treatment.
Developing treatment facilities at the Eco Park, gives the county council long-term control over the treatment of a third of the county's waste and the costs associated with this, improving its resilience.
The Charlton Lane site
Located in Shepperton in northern Surrey, the Charlton Lane site has been used to manage waste since the 1950s and has previously been used for landfill and been the site of an incinerator.
Until recently a transfer station was located at the site, handling waste from homes in Spelthorne, Runnymede and Elmbridge. The transfer station was also used by local traders and companies collecting waste from businesses in the surrounding area.
The Eco Park sees the site redeveloped and extended to provide the next generation of facilities to treat waste from Surrey households and also some waste from local businesses.