Council splashes £420,000 on ‘sophisticated’ machine to sort East Devon residents’ recycling

Cllr Andrew Moulding, chairman of East Devon District Council, and John Scanlon, of contractor SUEZ,

Cllr Andrew Moulding, chairman of East Devon District Council, and John Scanlon, of contractor SUEZ, jointly cut the ribbon to open the new machine. Picture: EDDC - Credit: Archant

Some £420,000 of taxpayers’ cash has been spent on a giant sorting and baling machine to separate the recycling collected from residents in Exmouth and East Devon.

The new machine, at the Greendale Resources Recycling Centre, has been built specifically to handle the 5,000 tonnes of recycling a year collected from homes across the district.

Fifteen months ago East Devon was recycling 43 per cent of its waste every week. Today, residents recycle an average 57 per cent, following the introduction of a new service last year.

Using the latest technology, including a system of magnets and conveyors, the machine carefully sorts the recycling into individual types of materials and efficiently packs them in to bales. The bales are then sent direct from East Devon to processors across the UK and Europe to be turned in to new items.

An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokeswoman said: “The quality of the sorted materials produced by this sophisticated plant maximises the value of the materials that are being recycled and means the council can make the most of the excellent effort residents are putting into recycling in East Devon.

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“To keep the machine working as efficiently as possible and help even further, the council asks residents not to put cans in bags and to rinse plastics before they go in the recycling sack.”

Prior to the new plant being installed, mixed materials collected in the green sacks were transported loose and unsorted to Avonmouth, but only eight tonnes could fit in each lorry. Now that the materials are compacted and baled, up to 20 tonnes can be transported in a single load - saving money and carbon emissions.

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EDDC chairman Councillor Andrew Moulding said: “The installation of this new recycling plant is the latest step in the modernisation of East Devon’s recycling service.

“The recycling rate of 57 per cent that we have now achieved has put us in the leading group of local authorities in England and enhanced East Devon’s reputation locally, regionally and nationally.”

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