‘We’re ready and we’re here to help’

More than 50,000 households in East Devon are just a few weeks away from being able to recycle more items than ever before when a new improved weekly recycling collection is introduced district-wide by the council from Monday June 12.

Over the next few days, residents will receive further detailed information about the new service and they are being asked to read their leaflets carefully and keep them handy. If they have any questions, please get in touch with the district council as we are here to help.

The new service, which has already started in Exmouth, means that all residents will be able to recycle more items which will be collected every week from the kerbside. The council has added cardboard, plastics, cartons/Tetra Paks and small electrical items to the extensive list that residents can already recycle. As householders will be able to recycle more and throw away less bulky rubbish, grey wheeled waste bins will be collected every three weeks.

Almost 17,000 households in Exmouth started to use the new service in mid-February in the first phase of the roll out. Within the first nine weeks of the new service, residents were recycling almost 60% of their waste – an increase in recycling of 15%.

Leaflets are being sent out this week to all households in the rest of East Devon – the second and final phase of the rollout - giving information about the start date of the new service, a calendar of collection days for weekly recycling and food waste along with dates for waste collections. There is also a complete list of what can be recycled and collected in food waste caddies, along with some helpful tips.

Residents have been asking the council, through surveys, to help them recycle more and waste less for some time and in 2015 more than 1,300 households in two East Devon areas trialled the new service. The trials in Exmouth (The Colony) and new Feniton, proved so successful, that residents asked for the service to continue.

Careful planning has gone in to introducing the new service across the district and with a further 51,000 homes to collect recycling and waste from, the council and its contractors SUEZ are advising that there could be some limited disruption as collections settle down. The council is appealing to residents to be patient during this period and to contact them if they have concerns or questions.

Mark Williams, East Devon District Council’s Chief Executive, said:

 We are here to help our residents with these changes and we have a dedicated team of officers who are happy to come and meet you to try and help resolve any issues you may have.

The new service will make it easier for our residents to recycle more and in order for us to achieve this we have had to make some major changes to our usual collection routes. This has meant some day and week changes to collections for some of our residents which may take a while to get used to.

We have meticulously planned the new service over the last fourteen months but any change to a service as important as recycling and waste involving more than 51,000 households, 260 blocks of flats, and thousands of streets will bring some teething problems at the start. We have worked hard with our contractors SUEZ to minimise any disruption, but there will inevitably be a small number of issues initially as everyone gets used to the changes.

 Our letters contain information specific to each household and I would urge residents to read them carefully, keep them to hand and please use them to help you separate recycling in to the correct containers. We’re here to help and if you need assistance, please contact us.

The council has been holding an extensive public awareness campaign to promote the changes and thousands of people have been learning more about the new service at a series of information days. These events are a great opportunity to find out more about the new service and the next events are being held at:

• Honiton Library on Tuesday 23 May from 9.30am to 12.30pm

• Axminster Library on Thursday 25 May from 10am to 12 noon

• Ottery St Mary Library on Thursday 1 June from 10am to 1pm

• Axe Vale Festival on Saturday 17 June from 10am to 5.30pm

Further events are planned over the next few weeks and the council will be sending out information as they are organised. Further information about the new service is available on the council’s website and includes a full list of what residents will be able to recycle. You can also follow the council’s social media service on Facebook at East Devon District Council and @eastdevon on twitter.

If you want to be kept fully up-to-date about your new collections, download the council’s really useful smart phone app which will send you reminders about your collection days tailored to your own address. The East Devon mobile app is free and is available to download from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

If you need assistance or advice about the new service, please contact us on 01395 571515.