Devon hits the mark with green targets

TOUGH targets to improve Devon s environment have been smashed by Devon County Council - two years earlier than expected. In a special report to the County Council s Executive Committee, the latest green performance figures show that seven environmental

TOUGH targets to improve Devon's environment have been smashed by Devon County Council - two years earlier than expected.

In a special report to the County Council's Executive Committee, the latest 'green' performance figures show that seven environmental targets set out in the County's Strategic Plan covering 2006 - 2011 have already been met or have exceeded expectation.

This includes key targets for recycling, air pollution and the cleanliness of town centres.

"Local residents consistently tell us that protecting our precious environment and keeping our streets clean and green is a top priority for Devon," says County Council Leader Brian Greenslade.

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"We said we would reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, improve air quality by tackling traffic congestion, and improve the local environment in which we live and work and this report shows that that is exactly what we have done.

"I'm absolutely delighted we are getting the results that people want and much faster than expected."

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The special report shows that since 2004/05 specific targets to minimise waste and increase recycling rates have been beaten with the amount of waste now going to landfill being reduced by 11.8% against a 5% target.

Recycling and composting rates now top 50% - an increase of 25% against an original target increase of 19%.

Journeys on public transport have increased with 5.3 million more journeys being taken on buses and trains across the county - more than three times the target. Traffic pollution has also been reduced in Exeter by 8%.

The appearance and cleanliness of town centres such as Newton Abbot, Exmouth and Exeter has also improved with a reduction in litter and detritus.

"Devon is a very special and we all want to make sure it continues to be a great place to live, visit and do business," said Executive Member for Environment Cllr Margaret Rogers.

"Achieving on things like improving recycling and composting rates or cutting traffic congestion was always going to be tough but local people and our County Council staff deserve great credit for this fantastic achievement in helping to make Devon greener, cleaner and a better place to be.

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