East Devon trials new three-weekly collection

East Devon District Council is to trial a new collection service from September, which will incorporate cardboard and mixed plastics into recycling while reducing residual collections to every three weeks.

East Devon trials new three-weekly collection

Around 1,800 households in the Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) areas of the district will be able to put the extra material in their green co-mingled recycling boxes alongside the current household dry recyclate.

The additions mean that residents in the trial areas will, from ‘mid-September’, be able to recycle: cardboard; mixed plastics; plastic bottles; textiles; glass; household batteries; paper; metals and empty aerosols. Every household will also receive an additional 70-litre reusable sack, which they can use for their extra recyclables. Operatives will then sort the vehicles at the kerbside.

As part of the trial, residual waste collections will move from fortnightly to three-weekly, as the council expects that people will be putting more of their waste out for weekly recycling collection. Food waste will continue to be collected weekly.

The trial comes ahead of the council’s appointment of a new recycling and waste contractor next year, and it says that feedback and information from the trial will help make a decision on any future changes to the recycling and waste service.

According to the council, The Colony has been chosen for the trial as the area reflects ‘the age profiles of the population of East Devon and the types of property the council collects from every week‘.

Households taking part in the trial will be receiving information regarding the trial in the coming weeks, and the council’s recycling and waste team will be holding roadshows in the trial areas to talk to residents about the new scheme in the next few weeks.

The is currently no end date for the trial.

Economically-viable trial ‘should increase recycling rate’

Councillor Iain Chubb, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Our current waste contract is coming to an end in March 2016 so now is the time to consider changes to the service. The trial helps us test the modified collection arrangements before we consider extending the service across the district.

“Our householders have asked us for some time now, through residents’ surveys, to help them recycle more and, linked to our aim to improve our current recycling rate of around 44 per cent, we think this trial scheme will work well for them.

“We’re not the first council to introduce a scheme such as this. Falkirk and Bury councils have already successfully implemented three-weekly waste collections across their areas.

“The council is determined to offer residents a more sustainable method of recycling and waste collection that looks to the future, benefits the environment, helps our residents do the right thing by recycling more and is economically viable.”

Andrew Hancock, the council’s Street Scene Lead Officer, added: “Recycling can be mixed in the recycling box and bag and does not need to be separated as the collection crews will separate the items on the vehicle.

“Residents will receive a calendar which will remind them of the specific dates and we have a special app that can be downloaded to assist them. We will be continuing to collect recycling and food waste every week.”

He added that if residents utilise the food waste collections, it should mean their residual waste bins will not smell badly, ‘as the majority of the residual waste will be dry’.

Find out more about the East Devon recycling scheme trials.

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