In preparation for the new 2017 recycling and waste service, East Devon has trialled the service in two areas of the district to ensure that it’s absolutely right for its residents.

The trials, which started in Exmouth (The Colony) and new Feniton in September 2015, proved so successful that residents who took part asked the council to continue the trial service. These communities – a total of 1,367 households - are currently collecting additional recycling items which are picked up from their kerbside every week. Their grey wheeled waste bins are collected every three weeks.

Residents who have taken part in the trials have really helped us perfect the service and have told us their views throughout.

Statistics from the first three months of the trials proved to everyone how successful the new service can be. Collectively, the 1,367 recycling trial households threw away almost 18 tonnes less rubbish – equivalent to almost two double decker buses! When the trials started, these two communities were recycling around 40% every week. Now, it’s around 56% every week.

Prior to the trials, the council undertook a wide-ranging publicity campaign to explain and help residents with the changes - holding recycling road shows, sending letters and leaflets giving information on the new collections and promoting the trial comprehensively through the local press and social media.

Following a questionnaire to all participating households in November 2015, the council has taken on board ideas from residents to provide more sturdy containers. Waterproof sacks fastened with Velcro were tested by a handful of our trial residents and proved most successful.

These will now be used as the additional container for recycling alongside the green boxes and food waste caddy’s. Our trial residents will continue to assist us as we roll out the new service and we are very grateful to them for their help and support.