Recycling steps up in East Devon

PUBLISHED: 13:27 19 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:27 19 August 2016

Recycling boxes. Ref mhc 07-16SH 5145. Picture: Simon Horn

Recycling boxes. Ref mhc 07-16SH 5145. Picture: Simon Horn


From next year East Devon residents will be able to recycle more of their waste than ever before - the scheme will start in Exmouth and be phased in across the district

A trailblazing new service to help East Devon residents recycle more of their waste than ever before will be phased in across the district – starting in Exmouth -from February next year.

For the first time, the district’s 68,000 households will be able to recycle cardboard, mixed plastics and Tetra Paks which will be collected every week from the kerbside; alongside the extensive list of items residents can already recycle. The new additions mean householders are able to recycle more, throw away less rubbish and put East Devon at the very forefront of environmental sustainability.

Examples of new items that residents will be able to recycle as part of the new service include yoghurt pots, plastic meat and vegetable trays, margarine and ice cream tubs, small electrical items such as irons, printed card, egg boxes, tubes from toilet and kitchen rolls, brown cardboard boxes, card from packaging such as toys, clean cardboard food packaging (cereal packets, cardboard sleeves) and much, much more.

Residents have been asking the council to help them recycle more for some years now and following a rigorous selection process, EDDC appointed SUEZ recycling and recovery UK to bring in the much-wanted changes.

The council did its groundwork by first trialling the proposed changes last year. Residents in Exmouth and Feniton added cardboard and mixed plastics to their weekly recycling collections and found that so much of what they used to throw away as rubbish could now be recycled. With recycling and food waste collected every week, and much less bulky rubbish in their grey wheeled waste bins, it allowed the waste bins to be collected every three weeks. The trials proved so successful that householders asked for the service to continue and this is the service that all East Devon residents will receive during 2017.

EDDC has been working alongside contractors SUEZ (formerly SITA UK) to plan the rollout of the service across East Devon. It will be introduced in two separate phases with the first phase being rolled out in the Exmouth area in February next year. The second phase, for the rest of the district, is expected to start next summer.

An extensive public awareness campaign explaining the new service to residents will begin next month and will include a number of activities including road shows where householders can come along and talk to our team of recycling officers.

In the early New Year, all residents will receive vital information about the new service including the start date, a recycling and waste collection calendar, a list of the items they can recycle and tops tips on how they can recycle more. Prior to the start of the service all residents will be given an additional 75 litre reusable sack for their extra recycling which they can use alongside their green recycling box and blue food caddy. These containers will be collected from the kerbside every week, and grey wheeled waste bins will be collected every three weeks.

Residents may also notice new purpose built lorries in the area, which store dry recycling in separate compartments, as SUEZ staff prepare for the new service to start.

Councillor Iain Chubb, the council’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said that the new service was being meticulously planned. He said: “Our aim has always been to deliver a more sustainable recycling and waste collection service that benefits the environment, helps our residents do the right thing by recycling more and is economically viable. We believe that this new service provides the solution.

“We have trialled the service in Exmouth (The Colony) and New Feniton and residents have been amazed at how little waste they throw away and how much more they can recycle. With our residents help we have flipped the recycling rate. We used to throw away 60% and recycle around 40%. The trial areas have turned this rate on its head, meaning almost 60% of waste is now diverted from disposal and recycled instead. That’s got to be good for the environment.”

“The trials have also helped us understand the practicalities of how we can meet residents’ needs and ensure the service is economically viable. “

He added: “I must stress that the new service means that residents will still see us every week – it’s just that we will be recycling much more of what was previously sent for disposal. The recycling collections will not change either. Your green boxes, food waste caddies and new reusable sacks will still be collected every week. The only noticeable difference is that householders will be able to collect more recycling and their grey wheeled bins will be collected every three weeks instead of every fortnight.

“We are here to help our residents through these changes and will have a dedicated team of officers who will be out on the streets of our district giving advice and assisting wherever they can.”

Dave Swire, Regional Manager, from the council’s recycling and waste contractors SUEZ said: “We want people living in East Devon to have an improved recycling service and our experienced team is working closely with the council to make it happen, with the minimum of fuss, during 2017.”

Over the next few months, information on the changes to the service will be available on the council’s website – – with a complete list of frequently asked questions and top tips on how to recycle more.

The council also has a really useful smart phone app which will send reminders about recycling and waste collection days tailored to your own address. The East Devon mobile app is free and is available to download from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

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