East Devon: a rubbish performance that puts us top of the table

East Devon is setting the pace for recycling

East Devon is setting the pace for recycling - Credit: EDDC

East Devon has hit a target of recycling more than 60 per cent of all household waste – 10 years ahead of schedule.

The target that the Government says councils should be hitting by 2030 is for 60 per cent of waste to be recycled, but East Devon is already recycling 60.5 per cent of waste.

The figures make the district one of the best in the country with the tenth highest recycling rates, and at an upper tier level, Devon is now the second best county in the country for recycling with a county wide rate of 56.6 per cent.

Cllr Geoff Jung, the East Devon District Council portfolio holder for coast, country and environment said: “We can’t thank residents enough for embracing our curb side recycling scheme introduced five years ago.

“Recycling is more important than ever as we work to build a greener economy and combat climate change. The materials that we collect from households are valuable resources that benefit our environment and our economy.

“We ask everyone to recycle as much as they can so that we can do even better in the future. This is great news for our environment, and we are grateful to residents for engaging so positively with our recycling system.”

In 2016/17, East Devon District Council was recycling just 46 per cent of its waste, but since moving to a three-weekly residual waste collection system, in the last three years, has seen that rise to 60.5 per cent.

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Across the rest of Devon, councils are rolling out plans to boost their recycling rates as well.

Teignbridge District Council last week agreed a ten point action plan to try and see their rates rise to 60 per cent, with a focus on getting people to recycle items that they can put choose not to.

South Hams District Council has launched their new ‘Super Recycler’ service which means residents will have a weekly recycling collection and, for the first time ever, will be able to put glass and plastic pots, tubs and trays out for recycling. Food waste will also be collected weekly in a new container.

In addition to this, the single-use clear and blue sacks will be a thing of the past, and all households will receive new containers for recycling, and the grey bin collections for non-recyclable items will continue to be collected every other week

West Devon Borough Council has extended its trial for around 1,000 homes where black sack collections for non-recyclable waste take place every three weeks, rather than fortnightly, until March 2021, with early results of the three weekly waste collection trial showing positive results, with an initial increase of 2.4 per cent in recycling.

Torbay Council have said that three-weekly bin collections will only be tried as a last resort if recycling rates fail to go up enough and instead would initially focus on education, engagement and communication, to support residents making the changes needed.

And Exeter City Council had previously put forward plans to change the way waste is collected in the city and to move to a three-weekly model as used in East Devon, but councillors have launched a review to look at alternatives, citing ‘financial and operational’ considerations, with a further report set to come back to the council’s executive soon.


RECYCLING RATES FOR 2019/20

East Devon – 60.5 per cent

Exeter – 26.1 per cent

Mid Devon – 53.1 per cent

North Devon – 49.5 per cent

South Hams – 54.4 per cent

Teignbridge – 56.3 per cent

Torridge – 54.1 per cent

West Devon 53.7 per cent

Devon County Council 56.6 per cent

Plymouth 34.1 per cent

Torbay 40.2 per cent


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