Cardboard finally set for our green bins?

District council recycling lorry. Ref shs 8752-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

District council recycling lorry. Ref shs 8752-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Householders in Sidmouth could be able to recycle cardboard waste under new kerbside collection proposals – but not until at least March next year.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is the only one of the county’s eight authorities that does not recycle cardboard.

As a result, every year tonnes of card, which could be recycled, ends up being buried in the ground or incinerated.

But all that may be about to change. EDDC’s recycling bosses are inviting bids to compete for their new recycling and waste services contract, which is up for grabs in March 2016.

A new contractor could lead to a new ‘sustainable’ waste collection service, resulting in mixed plastic and nappy collections, as well as up to four ‘residual’ collections at specific locations a week.

Local councillors, as well as members of town and parish councils, could even have a say on how the service is improved.

Up until now, EDDC has preferred a cheaper ‘limited’ service compared to other local councils, to help it maintain the lowest council tax rate in Devon.

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But with rocketing landfill costs and the potential to create local jobs in waste management, that model is set to be revised.

Sixty per cent of ‘wheelie bin’ waste from East Devon’s 65,000 households could be recycled.

In 2013, a third of rubbish sent for disposal was food waste - which could have been recycled as part of the council’s composting scheme.

This has contributed to EDDC’s recycling and refuse budget increasing to £4.7million, a quarter of the council’s total annual council budget

Councillor David Cox, EDDC’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “We have a terrific opportunity here to make a significant contribution to saving our environment, while at the same time creating jobs and making savings to our costs, which in turn gives us more money to spend on important non-funded community services and will enable us to keep the district council element of council tax down.”