Cardboard and mixed plastics added to recycling collections

Key information is being sent out next week to around 1,800 households living in the Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) areas giving details of an improved recycling collection service which is to be trialled by East Devon District Council.

From mid-September, residents in these areas will be able to recycle more in their green recycling boxes as the council is adding cardboard and mixed plastics to the extensive number of items it already collects from the kerbside each week.

Every household in the trial areas will receive an additional 70 litre reusable sack which they can use for their extra recyclables and the council’s popular weekly food waste collections will also continue as normal.

As residents will be able to recycle more in their weekly collection, they will produce less bulky waste to go in their grey wheeled bin which will then be collected every three weeks instead of every two weeks in the two selected trial areas.

The council is carrying out the trials to help prepare for the appointment of a new recycling and waste contractor next year. Feedback and information from the trial will help the council make a decision on any future changes to the current recycling and waste service.

Cllr Iain Chubb, the council’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said that the trial would be closely monitored and evaluated before any decision was made on rolling out a similar service to all East Devon households.

He 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%, 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.

Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) have been specifically chosen for the trial as they reflect the age profiles of the population of East Devon and the types of property the council collects from every week.

As part of the council’s wide ranging public awareness campaign, residents in the areas will receive letters next week outlining how the new trial will operate along with a list of answers to commonly asked questions around the service.

One of the most frequently asked questions is how residents can dispose of nappies and hygiene products such as incontinence pads.

Andrew Hancock, the council’s Street Scene lead officer, said:

We understand the concern of some residents on this issue and we want to help them individually in a sensitive and practical way. There are a number of options for disposing of these products. Primarily, residents can double wrap the products and dispose of them in their current residual waste bin.  If they find this difficult, we will help them find a solution and, if appropriate, supply additional bins. If this doesn't work for the household, they will be offered a fortnightly collection of the hygiene products which they will need to collect in a separate sack.

There have also been questions about increased smells from the residual waste bins.

Mr Hancock said:

As food waste will be collected with the extended recycling every week, the majority of the residual waste will be dry. Residents can always double bag any items they feel may smell and that should help.

Residents have also asked if they need to separate their recycling. 

Mr Hancock 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.

The Council is also aware that some residents have said that the three weekly residual waste collections are more complicated to remember.

Mr Hancock said:

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. 

Next month, the recycling and waste team will be holding road shows in the trial areas and are inviting residents to come along and talk to them about the scheme.

The first road show is being held on Saturday August 22 at the Sports and Social Club in Feniton from 11am to 2pm. The road show moves to the Imperial Recreation Ground in Exmouth the following week on Saturday August 29, again from 11am to 2pm. Residents in the trial areas will now be able to recycle:

• Cardboard - Printed card, egg boxes, inner tubes from toilet and kitchen rolls, brown cardboard boxes, card from packaging such as toys and electrical goods, all cardboard food packaging (cereal packets, cardboard sleeves)

• Mixed plastics - Margarine and ice cream tubs, yoghurt pots and food packaging e.g. meat & veg trays.

• Plastic bottles – Milk containers, drinks, cleaning and product bottles

• Textiles - Clothes, sheets and blankets, curtains and towels

• Glass – Glass bottles, glass jars

• Household batteries

• Paper – Newspapers and magazines, bagged shredded paper, junk mail/envelopes, writing paper

• Metals – Food and drink cans, pet food cans, foil wrap and trays

• Empty aerosols

• Food waste - Fruit and vegetable peelings, cooked food, uncooked food, meat and fish, plate scrapings, tea and coffee grounds, cat and dog food.

Information on the trials is available on the council’s website which includes a list of frequently asked questions.