East Devon now among the best performing recycling districts in England
The astonishing recycling efforts of East Devon residents who have increased the district’s recycling rate by more than 8% from 46% to 54.2% in just one year has won praise from a government Environment Minister.
Dr Therese Coffey, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, has given a ringing endorsement of East Devon District Council’s recycling and waste service and the work it carries out with residents in helping them recycle more of their household waste.
In 2016/17 the district was recycling 46% of its waste which increased to 54.2% in 2017/18 following the introduction of an innovative recycling and waste service to almost 70,000 households across East Devon by the council and its partners SUEZ recycling and recovery UK.
The very latest figures for recycling in East Devon now show that residents are recycling an average of 60% of their waste every week, although final figures for 2018/19 will not be confirmed until next year.
In a letter to Cllr Ian Thomas, Leader of the district council, Dr Coffey says that she would be interested to find out more about the council’s success in recycling. She asks that the council shares its knowledge with other local authorities to help the Government meet its ambitions in its new ‘Our Waste, Our Resources’ strategy.
Dr Coffey said:
Increasing household recycling is one of my key priorities as Minister responsible for waste management. This sits alongside our UK obligation to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020 and our long term ambition to be one of the most resource efficient countries in the world.
I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your performance in this year’s statistics for England’s household waste and recycling rates.
I would be interested to understand your success in this area and encourage you to share best practice with other local authorities.
The council introduced its extended recycling service to residents two years ago. East Devon is now the best performing recycling council in Devon, among the best recycling districts in England, and expected to be in the top 40 best recycling authorities out of 351 local authorities nationally.
East Devon’s recycling rate already exceeds the government target for 2020, and as residents have been recycling an average of 60% over the last six months, they are already meeting the government’s recycling targets for 2030, as set out in its new waste & resources strategy.
East Devon residents are now able to recycle more than ever before, including mixed plastics, cartons and cardboard which are collected every week. Coupled with a weekly food waste collection from the kerbside, it means that very little should be thrown away in household grey wheeled waste bins, which are collected every three weeks. District recycling has also been further boosted by the council’s green waste collection service which started last year. Almost 10,000 households have now signed up to the fortnightly collections, which cost £48 a year.
Cllr Thomas, Leader of the council said:
Our recycling and waste service is a key priority for East Devon District Council and highly valued by our residents. Enormous credit must go to all involved in helping recycle such a high proportion of our domestic waste.
Continued improvement and success can only be achieved through the motivation of our Members and Officers, coupled with innovative and professional work by contract partners SUEZ, and the cooperation and support of our residents. An excellent, well presented communications programme ensures everyone involved is well informed and able to work together effectively.
We’re delighted that the Minister recognises East Devon’s success, and will work with our residents to ensure that the council continues to lead the way in the protection of our outstanding environment.
Cllr Tom Wright, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, added that the letter was great news. He said:
It’s an endorsement of the enthusiasm shown by our residents that for the last six months we have attained the target for 2030.
We are not complacent though, and together with our partners SUEZ and our residents we will continue to explore ways in which we can do even better.
Stuart Jellings, contract manager for SUEZ added:
Our crews work hard to deliver a high quality service to the residents of East Devon, who have embraced the opportunity to recycle more than ever before. It’s fantastic to have our efforts recognised by Government and we’ll continue to work in partnership with the Council to make further improvements to the service.