Guide Recycling and Waste collections from flats or shared areas

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2. Flats guide - for collections from bin stores

Communal recycling stores - a resident’s guide

February 2021

Your communal recycling store

Your communal recycling store contains recycling boxes, each labelled with individual materials to make it easier for you to use and easier for crews to empty quickly and efficiently. We have also provided shared food caddies for all of your food waste.

It is important that you separate your recycling properly by material type and don’t mix up materials in the boxes as this may lead to the crew leaving the mixed box behind.

The store has been laid out to be easy to use with clearly labelled stickers on each box to indicate what can be placed inside. Information signs also provide additional information.

Your collections will take place from the recycling store so there is no need to remove containers on collection day. Our crews will remove the material and return containers neatly afterwards to be refilled for the next collection.

If you find you need more boxes or box stickers, please call us on 01395 571650.

What can I place in the recycling boxes?
  • Plastics – such as yoghurt pots, plastic meat and vegetable trays, margarine and ice cream tubs, and plastic bottles (please squash bottles and leave lids on)
  • Cartons/Tetra Pak – such as orange juice cartons, milk and soup
  • Cardboard - including brown/corrugated cardboard boxes, thin card such as cereal boxes, ready meal sleeves, egg boxes, washing powder boxes and toilet and kitchen roll tubes. Pizza boxes - please remove any food residue and dip/sauce pots first
  • Tins, cans and aluminium foil (including trays) – Please rinse
  • Aerosol cans – empty
  • Glass bottles and jars – Please rinse
  • Paper - newspapers, magazines, comics, envelopes (Please bag shredded paper)
  • Textiles/shoes – Please place in plastic bag
  • Small electrical items – eg kettles, toasters, hairdryers etc
  • Used household batteries - in separate bag please
What can I place in the food caddies?
  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • cooked food
  • uncooked food
  • meat and fish (including bones)
  • plate scrapings
  • tea bags and tea/coffee grounds
  • cat and dog food
  • leftover takeaway

Please don’t place any food waste in your black bin.

Indoor storage – your handy bag and indoor food caddy

Everyone finds their own way of storing recycling inside their home. Some people use a separate dustbin, bag or box in the kitchen to store recycling in to keep it separate from your normal rubbish.

It is worth taking some time to consider how best to store the materials in between visits to your recycling store.

To help we can provide a free ‘handy bag’ to store and transport your recycling to the recycling store. This is designed to be kept in the flat, filled up and then emptied into the relevant recycling boxes outside when full. Please call us on 01395 571650 if you would like a free ‘handy bag’.

Lining your food caddy

You can line your food caddy with any plastic bag. This could be a carrier bag (not a bag for life), a bread bag, a compostable liner or you could simply line it with newspaper.

Handy bag steps
  1. Fill up the bag indoors during the week.
  2. Take it to the bin store and empty the contents into the relevant green boxes.
  3. Please remember to separate the materials according to the box labels.
  4. Then return the handy bag to your flat and refill for the following week.

If you do not already have one, we can also provide a free small kitchen worktop food caddy. Please call customer services if you need one of these on 01395 571515.

The indoor caddy is designed to collect your food waste during the week and can then be emptied into the outside food caddies in your bin store when full.

What can I place in the black waste bins?

Your black wheeled bin should only contain the waste that can't go in the recycling box or food caddy. This can include nappies or incontinence products. The black wheeled bin waste will go to an Energy from Waste plant.


Excess waste problems

If residents don’t recycle properly this can easily lead to problems with overflowing bins and excess waste that could potentially attract vermin. Overflowing waste bins may prevent our crews from being able to collect your waste and recycling.

By recycling properly you will keep the volume of waste in your black bins to a minimum and avoid any problems.

Excess waste problems can also occur if people dump large bulky items in the recycling store. The store should be kept as tidy as possible to allow residents to recycle easily and make good use of the facilities. See the next page for advice on how to deal with bulky items.

Bulky household items

Please do not place large household items such as wardrobes, furniture, mattresses, fridges etc in the recycling store. They can cause an obstruction to the collection crews and other residents that use the facilities. You have several options below to dispose of these items.

East Devon District Council

The council offers a chargeable bulky waste collection service. Please visit our website or call customer services for details or to book a collection on 01395 571515.

Recycling centre

The recycling centre can take many bulky items. For details of your nearest recycling centre please go to the Devon county council website or call 0345 155 1010

Reuse shops

Depending on the condition of the items, you may be able to have them taken away for free by the following companies or organisations.

  • Hospiscare: Telephone: 01392 453057 Email:
  • Axminster Trade and Donate Recycling Shop: Telephone: 01297 639988 or 01297 33075
  • Recycling in Ottery (RiO): Telephone: 01404 815825
  • Devon’s Domestic Recycling (Honiton): Telephone: 01404 758082 or 07880 512 327. Email:
  • Exeter Turntable: Telephone: 01392 202032
  • Furnicare (Chard):  Telephone: 01460 68221

Useful contact numbers

  • Missed collections: Please report via the website or call customer services 01395 571515
  • Bulky Waste collections: Please book via the website or call customer services 01395 571515
  • Need extra recycling containers, stickers or posters for your recycling store? Please call the recycling team on 01395 571650
  • Need a handy bag? Please call the recycling team on 01395 571650
  • For problems with overflowing waste in the recycling store please call your housing officer or landlord in the first instance if you have one.

Finally - A big thank you

East Devon District Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019. One key part of meeting our climate change obligations is to maintain and improve the recycling facilities for all residents. The new recycling facilities will really help with this and are a big step in the right direction.

However, it is the actions of residents that really make the difference. The materials we collect from you are valuable resources. Each time you recycle you are reducing the amount of primary raw materials that need to be extracted from the Earth to make new objects. Extracting primary raw materials can be very damaging to the environment and contributes to global warming.

The ongoing commitment from residents to ‘do the right thing’ and recycle as much as possible will help us to preserve valuable resources, protect the environment and fight climate change.

East Devon is widely recognised as being one of the best performing recycling areas in the country. Thank you for playing your part – let’s keep up the good work!

Thank you

The Recycling Team