Will new recycling scheme cause a stink in Sidmouth?

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

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

Plans to introduce an expanded recycling scheme in Sidmouth - which will see landfill-bound rubbish collected every three weeks - have prompted concern from some Herald readers.

The East Devon District Council (EDDC) inititative will see cardboard, mixed plastics and Tetra Pak items collected from the kerbside each week. However, this will mean that grey bins will be taken on a less-frequent basis.

Initially trialled by Exmouth and New Feniton residents, EDDC says those who took part would only recycle around 40 per cent of their rubbish. But by trialling the new system, almost 60 per cent of waste was recycled.

This freed up space in grey, wheeled waste bins - so they only needed to be collected every three weeks, says EDDC.

The scheme, being undertaken by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, will be rolled out in the Exmouth area in February before it is introduced to the rest of the district in the summer. All residents will be given a 75-litre reusable sack for their extra recycling to use alongside their green recycling box and blue food caddy.

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The subject matter proved a hot topic with visitors to the Herald’s Facebook page this week.

A major concern voiced by residents was the smell landfill rubbish - such as soiled nappies and cat litter - would cause being left out for so long.

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Among those to comment was Charly Rhodes, who said: “The bins absolutely stink in the summertime - I wash mine out every two weeks and it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. I think this is a crazy idea to be honest.”

Geraldine Edgecumbe posted: “No, not very good at all, it’s bad enough fortnightly - it absolutely smells to high heaven. Seagulls and pigeons will be all over the rubbish.”

Peter Sullivan said those with nappies could opt to use cheaper and more environmentally-friendly products. He suggested that a penalty system could be introduced for those who would not recycle.

Ross Barden said more recycling meant less waste, which was good. He added he would be a bit more careful with what he bought in future, to reduce his non-recyclable waste. Ross added: “With composting, reusing and recycling, I doubt there will be much going in the bin.”

Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC memeber responsible for the environment, 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.

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

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