An improved recycling collection service is to be trialled in two East Devon areas this September.

Around 1,800 households in New Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) areas will be able to recycle more during the trial 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 recyclables along with their usual green recycling box. The 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 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 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 for the whole district. The trials will start in September.

East Devon currently recycles around 44% of its household waste and the recycling and waste contract accounts for around a quarter of the council’s total annual revenue spend. With the ever continuing squeeze on public finances - East Devon faces a budget gap of £2.8 million by 2020/21 - the council will be looking very carefully at every detail of the new contract to ensure it gives value for money.

Several other councils and waste partnerships have carried out improved recycling trials similar to the one East Devon plans to introduce. Falkirk and Bury Councils have already implemented their enhanced recycling service leading to three – weekly waste collections across their areas. Falkirk has just approved plans to move to four weekly waste collections following the great success of their improved recycling rates.

East Devon officers are preparing a wide ranging public awareness campaign in the two selected trial areas with letters, leaflets and road shows.

The council is also looking for ‘Recycling Champions’ in New Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) to assist council officers and help them with the introduction of the trials by giving feedback throughout. If you’re a keen recycler, living in the trial areas and you’re interested in helping out, please contact our recycling team on 01395 571515.

Please read the full press release.