Government

SUEZ appointed by East Devon after three-weekly trial success

SUEZ appointed by East Devon after three-weekly trial success
An enhanced recycling service is set to accompany a move to three-weekly residual waste collections in East Devon after the district’s council announced that it has awarded its new collection contract to the incumbent service provider SUEZ recycling and recovery UK.

The contract will see East Devon District Council (EDDC) introduce an extended recycling service ahead of its planned switch to three-weekly residual waste collection.

Starting from next year, every household in the district will have cardboard, mixed plastics and cartons included in its weekly kerbside recycling collections, alongside an increased recycling capacity.

The contract will run for seven years, with the option to extend up to three further years, and is worth ‘just over’ £30 million. The council hopes that the new deal will enable it to increase its current recycling rate of 44 per cent, meeting the EU’s 50 per cent target for 2020 and eventually reaching ‘at least 60 per cent’.

According to the council, the new service will be communicated thoroughly to residents in time for a phased roll-out in early 2017, after new kerbside sort vehicles have been delivered.

Successful three-weekly trial

The council has been trialling the enhanced service alongside three-weekly residual waste collections in 1,800 homes in the Feniton and Exmouth areas. It reports that ‘residents have found that they have less rubbish in their waste bins as they can recycle so much more’, and has called the trials a ‘complete success’. 

In the three months after the start of the trial in mid-September, the recycling rate in Feniton was reported to have increased from 41 per cent to 58 per cent, while the rate in The Colony area of Exmouth rose from 37 per cent to 55 per cent.

Much of this increase, the council’s StreetScene team has reported, consisted of the additional cardboard now accepted by the collections. Reducing the collection of residual waste bins has also seen food waste collections in the Feniton area increase almost five-fold from the old system.

The tonnages of residual waste sent for disposal have meanwhile decreased on average by 22 per cent in The Colony and 18 per cent in New Feniton.

Building on ‘enormous success’

Speaking about the new service, Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC portfolio holder for the environment, said: “The new service will mean residents can recycle more – something they have been asking us to help them with for some time now – and bring considerable benefits to our environment too, as we will be wasting less.

“The trials have helped us understand the practicalities of how we can meet residents’ needs, benefit our environment and ensure the service is economically viable. The households involved have been outstanding and the trials have been an enormous success. Some of those taking part are recycling more than 60 per cent of their waste each week – an increase of 18 per cent in some cases – which is phenomenal.

“With our residents’ help, we have flipped the recycling rate. We used to throw away 60 per cent and recycle around 40 per cent. The trial areas have turned this rate on its head, meaning 60 per cent of waste is now diverted from disposal and recycled instead.

“Many of those taking part have asked us to continue with the trials, which we have promised we will do, although we will not be collecting Tetrapaks until the new scheme is rolled out across the whole district next year. We have an extensive communications plan around the new service and will be holding roadshows and other events to promote the exciting changes. Until then, existing collections will remain in place and it’s business as usual.”

SUEZ

Steve Holgate, General Manager of the Municipal Division at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, added: “We are delighted to have won this market-leading contract, which will enable us to continue our partnership with East Devon District Council, helping local residents recycle as much as possible through reliable and progressive collection services.

“Our local team has established itself in the community in recent years and our people take great pride in providing a friendly, efficient and professional service while they help protect the lovely environment of East Devon.”

More information on the Feniton and Exmouth trials can be found on the East Devon District Council website.