Guide East Devon residents Coronavirus update - 22 May 2020

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4. Recycling in East Devon Soars Amidst Lockdown

Every Can Counts congratulates the people of East Devon for embracing recycling amidst lockdown and thanks the unsung heroes of the pandemic.

Fresh figures gathered by Every Can Counts, in conjunction with the District Council are showing a massive increase in recycling during lockdown, as reports of the environmental silver lining of social distancing continue to grow.



Every Can Counts, the European recycling initiative which aims to inspire people to recycle their empty drink cans, has published these statistics in order to congratulate the people of East Devon and the region’s waste and recycling workers for their tremendous recycling efforts throughout lockdown, and encourage the continuation of these efforts as restrictions begin to lift.

New statistics show a 16% increase in kerbside recycling volumes collected in March (against March 2019) with an impressive 240 tonne increase versus last year – all after less than two weeks of lockdown. Within the first three weeks of April, a staggering 127 more lorry loads of recycling had been collected than during the same period in 2019.

Chris Latham-Warde, Every Can Counts Programme Manager, comments,

We are hugely encouraged by the data. We’d like to thank and congratulate the people of East Devon and celebrate that so much more recycling is being collected at kerbside – it’s good news for the council and good news for the planet. Now, more than ever, we must try to live more sustainably.

Every Can Counts also wants to thank the waste and recycling workers across the district who are working tirelessly with a depleted work force. These impressive figures are only possible because of their continued hard work. To them, we say a huge thank you.

Gareth Bourton, Recycling and Waste Manager at East Devon District Council, commented,

The coronavirus outbreak has created an unprecedented challenge for us. During the outbreak, our workforce has been depleted by 10-12% each day through self-isolation and at the same time, we have had to collect extraordinary tonnages of materials at kerbside as people stay at home under lockdown. With the help of our residents, we have maintained our high recycling rates and kept the flow of valuable resources into the UK economy.

Chris Latham-Warde continues,

Recycling - and especially recycling drink cans given that aluminium is infinitely recyclable - is something we can all do to help the planet. Over the past five years, the UK recycling rate for drink cans has increased by 16% to an impressive 76%. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we’re optimistic that this positive trend will continue. Our vision is to ensure that every can is recycled and there is still a lot of work to be done. To achieve our goal, we need the nation to continue to work together to recycle their drink cans during lockdown and importantly once life returns to some kind of normality.