East Devon District Council and SUEZ shortlisted for national award. Photo: Steve Joyce.

Council's recycling trials in the running for top honour

SUEZ and East Devon District Council have being shortlisted for a prestigious national award, reflecting their collaborative approach to improving levels of recycling.

The judging panel for the Materials Recycling Week (MRW) National Recycling Awards 2016 has decided that the successful recycling trials conducted in new Feniton and The Colony in Exmouth warrant recognition, with the winners of each category to be announced on 6 July at a ceremony in London.

Andy Williams, Senior Contract Manager at SUEZ, recycling and recovery UK, said:

From the outset there was a mutual commitment to the successful delivery of this recycling project and we are delighted that our work with our partners at East Devon District Council has been recognised. We now have to present our entry to the judging panel in person and so will keep our ‘green fingers’ well and truly crossed for a successful outcome.

Cllr Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said:

The trials have helped us understand the practicalities of how we can meet residents’ needs, by helping them recycle more which benefits our environment and ensures the service is economically viable. The households involved have been outstanding and the trials have been an enormous success. This is in no small part due to the great partnership we have with SUEZ who helped us from the inception of the trials by supporting our aims and working with us to ensure that all went well.

With a smooth operation and an exceptional effort from our residents, the trial areas have flipped the recycling rate. We used to throw away 60% and recycle around 40%. The trial areas have turned this rate on its head, meaning almost 60% of waste is now diverted from disposal and recycled instead. With this success, we have awarded our new contract based on this collection method.

From early next year we will be rolling out the new collection service to all our households which puts East Devon District Council at the cutting edge of environmental sustainability at a time when it’s more important than ever to protect our outstanding countryside. Only a handful of other councils across the country have recently introduced this new method of collection and I’m confident that our great partnership work with SUEZ will make the full roll out of our service just as successful as the trials.

The council has been trialling the extra recycling collection of cardboard and mixed plastics in two areas of the district since September to see how it would work.

Almost 1,400 households in new Feniton and The Colony, Exmouth have been taking part in the trials where their extra recycling along with the extensive number of recyclables they can already collect, is picked up from the kerbside each week. The residents have found that they have less rubbish in their waste bins as they can recycle so much more. With their recycling and food waste collected every week, their waste bins are collected every three weeks.

The MRW National Recycling Awards 2016, recognises and highlights the excellence and innovation present throughout the recycling and resource management sector today. These are the awards companies aspire to win, judged by their peers from across the industry.

The National Recycling Awards reward excellence across the industry and address recycling, reuse and waste reduction. To win, entrants must demonstrate effective strategy, tangible improvement, innovative and creative solutions, and a strong business case.

The SUEZ and East Devon District Council’s entry falls into the Private-Public Sector Partnership category which recognises partnership and innovative working that goes above and beyond standard contractual arrangements and good practice to manage waste and resources innovatively, sustainably and effectively.