Households asked to be patient as amount of cardboard recycled doubles

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:56 13 July 2020

East Devon residents have recycled a record amount of cardboard during the lockdown period. Picture: East Devon District Council

East Devon residents have recycled a record amount of cardboard during the lockdown period. Picture: East Devon District Council


Residents in East Devon are asked to be patient as a record amount of recycling has put pressure on the kerb side collectors.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing residents into lockdown, and the subsequent increase of online deliveries and food deliveries, the district’s 70,000 households are recycling at record levels.

East Devon residents, who the East Devon District Council (EDDC) say are the best recyclers in Devon, are continuing their excellent recycling record despite the pressures of coronavirus.

The amount of cardboard recycled per month in Devon since lockdown began has more than doubled from 250 tonnes to 526 tonnes per month which is the equivalent of 65 double-decker buses.

The 276-tonne rise has prompted EDDC to ask households to be patient as the company which collects recycling on the council’s behalf, Suez UK, struggles to cope with the extra demand.

Owing to the rapid increase, some cardboard has been left at the kerb side as the recycling vehicles designated to pick it up have filled up too quickly.

To help this situation, extra vehicles have been deployed just to collect cardboard and residents are asked to be patient if their cardboard may have been left behind.

Households are also being asked to store any uncollected cardboard and put it out over a number of collections to help spread the load for the crews.

It is not just cardboard recycling that has risen, as glass and food waste tonnages have also increased by an extra 20 tonnes and 50 tonnes per month respectively, during the pandemic.

Cllr Geoff Jung, the district council’s portfolio holder for coast, countryside and environment, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to change our habits, and recycling has become even more important than usual as we adjust to the changes.

“East Devon households have responded to this magnificently.

“The recyclables we all put out for collection are valuable resources and by recycling in the way we are, we are all helping to provide the raw materials to help re-start the UK economy and protect our environment as we recover.”

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