Great news for recycling service in East Devon after a rubbish month

PUBLISHED: 17:50 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 June 2010

AMIDST the gloom surrounding the disposal of recyclable materials caused by the global economic downturn comes some happier news from East Devon District Council.

AMIDST the gloom surrounding the disposal of recyclable materials caused by the global economic downturn comes some happier news from East Devon District Council.

EDDC this week said there are three reasons to be cheerful:

-Items sent for recycling by East Devon Residents is continuing to be sent for re-processing

-The Council's contractor has won the right to build a new waste handling depot at Woodbury Salterton

-Independent surveys show high rates of participation and satisfaction in the Phase 1 area

Councillor David Cox, EDDC's Portfolio Holder StreetScene, said this week: "It has been reported that some councils are experiencing difficulties finding outlets for material that has been collected for recycling due to the global economic situation. East Devon District Council is not land-filling material collected for recycling. We have checked with our contractor Sita that this is not happening. In East Devon different materials are kept separate after collection, which means each batch is of a quality acceptable by re-processors and so more easily placed in the marketplace. "Materials such as paper, glass and textiles are subject to long-term UK-based Devon-wide contracts and the capacity for dealing with these materials is not affected. With regard to cans and plastic bottles, these materials are being sent for re-processing, but at a much lower market price than was available in late 2008. Our contractor is responsible for finding markets for these materials and at present is able to do so either in the UK or for export.

"We're pleased we entered into long-term UK contracts for paper, glass and textiles, which has meant we are able to send these materials for recycling with confidence that it is all being dealt with correctly. We are also confident that Sita can obtain outlets for the 10% for which they are responsible and, with our new scheme collecting food waste going to a plant to produce electricity and compost, we are happy with the present situation".

This week, the Council learned that a Government Inspector had upheld an appeal against a refusal by the waste planning authority, Devon County Council, for permission to erect a building and associated compound for kerbside waste transfer at Greendale Barton Industrial Estate, Woodbury Salterton.

The Inspector acknowledged the concerns of residents, but said he was satisfied that local residents' living conditions would not suffer unduly as a result of the development. This news means that EDDC's contractor, Sita, will be able to provide much-needed additional space near its existing compound, subject to various conditions imposed by the Inspector.

Councillor Cox added: "This is more good news, as it means that Sita will be able to expand capacity in readiness for the extra volumes of materials collected in East Devon as we roll out our recycling service in phases across the district".

A report from an independent assessor has found that the participation rate among households in the Phase 1 area - the Axe Valley - is now 78%. The assessor was working for WRAP - the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

In a separate survey, respondents in Axminster were asked how satisfied they were with the new food waste collection service. Of those asked, 71% were very satisfied and 22% satisfied.

Councillor Cox said: "This is an extremely high satisfaction rate. We will not rest on our laurels, but will aim even higher. However, this is a good result after five months of operation".

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