Cardboard and mixed plastics added to recycling collections for Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony)

‘We’re here to help you’ - That’s the message from East Devon District Council to residents in Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) as improved recycling trials begin there in the next few days.

The trials mean that households in these areas will, for the first time, be able to recycle cardboard and mixed plastics along with their usual extensive number of other recyclables including glass, metals, paper, plastic bottles, textiles and food waste which will all be collected weekly at the kerbside.

The first kerbside collection of the new recyclables for Exmouth (The Colony) is Thursday September 17 and for Feniton is Wednesday September 23. Every household in these areas will receive an additional 70 litre reusable sack which will be delivered a few days before the new service begins. They can use the sack for their extra recyclables along with their usual green recycling box.

As residents will be able to recycle more for collection every week, it’s expected that they will throw away less bulky waste in their grey wheeled bin which will then be collected every three weeks instead of every two weeks. For Exmouth (The Colony), the first collection of the grey wheeled bins under the new scheme will be Thursday October 1. The first waste collection of the great wheeled bins under the new scheme for Feniton will be Wednesday October 7.

The council is keen to help residents throughout the trials and has a dedicated team of officers who will be out and about in these areas talking to households, advising them on how they can reduce their waste and recycle more, while gathering information on how the trials are progressing.

A wide-ranging campaign to explain and help residents with the changes has been running since late June. Recycling road shows have been held in each trial area, all householders have been sent letters and leaflets giving information on the new collections and there has been a comprehensive media campaign.

Cllr Iain Chubb, the council’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said that the council was there to help residents with the trials and any householders who needed assistance should contact the officers.

He said:

Residents have always shown great support for anything we do to encourage more recycling, which is why it’s so important that we support our households with this new scheme.

We really want to help and, just as important, listen to what our residents say. They will be the people on the ground using this new trial service and we will want to know how it works for them. Our recycling officers have a great deal of experience and will be able to assist them in so many ways.

Cllr Chubb said that one of the most frequently asked questions from residents is how they can dispose of nappies and absorbent hygiene products such as incontinence pads.

He 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 a larger capacity bin. If this doesn't work for the household, the residents will be offered a fortnightly collection of the hygiene products which they will need to put in a separate sack. This will be collected by our contractors.

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

The council is carrying out the trials to help prepare for the appointment of a 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.

The trials are also being introduced as residents’ surveys frequently ask the council for opportunities to recycle more items.

Cllr Chubb said:

Residents want to recycle more and we want to improve our current recycling rate of around 44%, so it makes sense to trial this new system of collection. It’s important to remember that residents in the trial areas will still see us every week – we’ll just be collecting different types of waste.

Information on the trials is available on the council’s website – eastdevon.gov.uk – and includes a list of frequently asked questions, and top tips on how to recycle effectively. For residents who need assistance, the council’s recycling team can be contacted on 01395 571515 or email csc@eastdevon.gov.uk. You can follow East Devon District Council on social media through twitter @eastdevon or facebook/eastdevon.

The council also has a really useful smart phone app which will send reminders about recycling and waste collection days tailored to your own address. The East Devon mobile app is free and is available to download for iphone users from the Apple App Store and for Android smart phone users from the Google Play Store. Current users of the app are reminded to download an updated version in early September.