Trial to start from March 2019

The residents of Woodbury will be trialling an additional recycling bag for the collection of cardboard from March next year.

Around 850 households in the village will be asked to collect their cardboard in a white foldaway collection bag instead of their green box and put the bag out at the kerbside with their other recycling containers on their usual recycling collection day.

Each household will receive a letter from East Devon District Council’s recycling team with more information about the delivery of the bags and a start date for the trial.

SUEZ, the council’s waste and recycling contractor. is funding the trial as part of its commitment to investing in the future of the service. Its team will hold regular community engagement events in Woodbury throughout the trial to speak to residents about how it is working for them, and the information collected will help shape the future of recycling in East Devon.

Cardboard is increasingly being used in packaging and we are collecting more from East Devon households every month. It’s a trend that is likely to continue as our shopping habits are changing and we buy more products online that are frequently packaged in cardboard. At the same time, East Devon continues to grow – there are now almost 70,000 homes in the district – and so does the number of recycling and waste collection rounds needed each week. The council’s recycling service needs to plan ahead to meet these changing demands and to give households more capacity to recycle in the future.

Currently, cardboard is collected by households in their green box alongside glass. Sometimes glass is broken in the boxes and this contaminates the cardboard which means that it cannot be recycled. The recycling markets are demanding higher quality materials so the council and SUEZ need to ensure that materials are separated well and not contaminated in order to sell them for recycling at the best price possible.

The money raised through selling recycling helps pay for the collections, so it’s important that good quality materials are collected from households to make the service sustainable in the long term.

Collecting cardboard separately may help the SUEZ crews to pick up the recycling more efficiently. It will allow the crews to tip cardboard directly into the correct compartment, helping to prevent glass mixing with the cardboard and reducing the amount of time it takes for crews to collect each household’s recycling.

Woodbury has been chosen for the trial as it has a mix of properties and makes up a single collection round with one crew. This means that the benefits from the trial can be measured more accurately. The white bags are weighted too, which means there’s less chance of the cardboard falling out and littering the environment.

Cllr Tom Wright, the district council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said:

At this stage this is a trial for the Woodbury area only and it is being entirely funded by our contractor partners SUEZ. They want to see how we can improve the quality of the service we currently give to our residents, and also improve the quality of cardboard that is collected.

We will be grateful for any help that the residents of Woodbury can give us throughout the trial and we promise to feed back when the trial is completed.

Matt Canning, Regional Manager for SUEZ said:

Trials like these help us to adapt the service so it is fit for the future needs of East Devon’s residents. East Devon has already become a national leader in recycling, and we look forward to working with the council and the residents of Woodbury to build on this success.

For further information about the trial call us on 01395 571515 or look at our website.