An innovative scheme which has allowed Devon’s district councils to improve their kerbside waste collection services and improve recycling rates has won a national award.

The Devon Authorities Shared Saving Scheme was recognised as the ‘Best New Idea’ at the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) Celebration Awards 2021.

The award was accepted by Devon County Council working with and on behalf of five of Devon’s waste collection authorities, East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils.

The scheme has led to savings of £6.8m in treatment costs for the County Council, and half of this extra money has been shared back with the five District Councils which has enabled them to improve their waste collection services.

It has also increased recycling rates for those authorities and improved recycling collection services for over 250,000 Devon households.

The Scheme has allowed the five authorities to change their kerbside collections knowing that savings that they generate in cheaper treatment costs or a reduction in waste volumes will be shared back with them to fund further initiatives and improvements.

It has also supported the introduction of separate weekly food waste collections and partly subsidised separate garden waste collections which has improved the amount of food waste collected.

Average recycling levels within the five District Council areas have improved overall from 47.9% to 55.2% with a reduction in waste volumes of 25kg/head (6%).

Councillor Roger Croad, DCC’s cabinet member responsible for waste said:

Congratulations to Devon County Council’s waste team for delivering this innovative scheme and our district council colleagues – this is a great example of Devon’s councils working together. It has improved local services for more than a quarter of a million people and it’s great that it has been nationally recognised.”

Councillor Geoff Jung, the chair of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee (DASWC) and East Devon District Council portfolio holder for Coast, Country and Environment said:

I’m delighted that Devon’s councils have been recognised nationally. It shows yet again that by pooling our expertise and knowledge for the greater good of Devon we can, increase efficiency, improve recycling rates and reduce costs to enable us to continue to improve the services we can offer.”