First day's collection trebles recycling rate

PUBLISHED: 15:40 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 15 June 2010

THE district council recycling drive has seen the new Axe Valley collection scheme turn performance on its head by near-trebling its own recycling rate. The first day of the new project picking up food waste and plastic bottles direct from homes saw t

THE district council recycling drive has seen the new Axe Valley collection scheme turn performance on its head by near-trebling its own recycling rate.The first day of the new project - picking up food waste and plastic bottles direct from homes - saw the contractors Sita collect 59 per cent of waste for recycling.Early-day results offset teething problems after a mix-up left residents unprepared for collections they thought began next week and while some homes failed to receive their bins, others received more than one.Reporting back to the East Devon District Council's executive committee last week, Street Scene portfolio holder Councillor David Cox said the problems would be rectified.He said: "We are very sorry there was a misunderstanding, but we had a huge response to this from Sita, and Street Scene, and most importantly the public."Council leader Sara Randall Johnson added: "When you are changing a system for more than 12,000 people, there are going to be occasions where things go wrong. Collecting the rubbish is one of the council's primary functions and my biggest thanks go to the public, as without their help, this would not happen."The pioneering scheme will see food waste converted to biogas for electricity needs, and has sparked nationwide media interest. Councillor Mike Green told executive board colleagues the 59 per cent rate - which initially tops an EDDC target to improve a current 22 per cent rate to 50 per cent - would put the authority amongst the nation's best recyclers.The district council is set to roll the scheme beyond the Axe Valley, to all 66,000 homes in the district by 2012. The authority faces further challenges after plans to build a waste storage depot outside a development zone at Greendale Barton Business Park, in Woodbury, were rejected once more by Devon County Council.

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