Devon tops recycling league

Devon is England’s top recycling county, with a recycling rate of 55 per cent for the year 2010/11.

Four other county authorities (Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Suffolk) are following closely behind with a recycling rate of 54 per cent.

Devon has come a long way in the last 20 years from a recycling rate of just two per cent in 1990/91. This was considered a high achievement at that time and Devon won the BT and Friends of the Earth first “Recycling County” award.

Cabinet member for environment and community, Councillor Roger Croad, says: “Our high rate of recycling is down to the commitment of residents and we would like to say a big thank you to them. People have responded well to the ‘Don’t let Devon go to Waste’ campaign and, together with our district colleagues, we feel that our recycling services in Devon are some of the best in the country. The challenge for everyone is to help Devon stay at the top by recycling as much as possible, please keep up the good work!”

Devon currently has 19 recycling centres and approximately 290 drop/bring sites. District household recycling collections cover virtually 100 per cent of the county, with Teignbridge recycling the most at a rate of 57 per cent.

Devon generates around 378,000 tonnes of rubbish every year, of which 171,000 tonnes goes to landfill.

By the year 2020, the county is hoping to recycle 62 per cent of waste.

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Overall, waste in Devon continues to decrease and is now at the same level as we were in 2005/06 demonstrating that actions to reduce waste are beginning to become the norm. However, Devon’s overall waste when compared to other county areas still remains fairly high therefore we all need to do more to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible. The average person in the UK produces 449kg of waste a year compared to 506kg per person in Devon.

One easy way to reduce waste is to cut down on your addressed junk mail by registering with the Mailing Preference Service at or by calling the information line on 0845 703 4599.

For people who are not sure what to recycle or have yet to pick up the recycling habit, the website can help. The website contains details of recycling collections, ordering replacement containers and nearest recycling centres as well as being a resource for garden tips, savvy shopping and saving money. The Recycle Trail videos trace the journey that takes place for materials collected from your home to the reprocessor and then ultimately back into new products.