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Draft Resource and Waste Management Strategy for Devon and Torbay

A public consultation is being held on the Draft Resource and Waste Management Strategy for Devon and Torbay between 3 March and 14 April to seek the views of local stakeholders, businesses and residents.

Resource and Waste Management Strategy PDF version


A Review of the Waste Management Strategy for Devon was last carried out in 2013. Since then there have been many developments in waste management services. It was therefore concluded that a new Strategy for Devon and Torbay should be written to reflect the direction of travel and changes in national waste policy. This includes household waste along with other wastes collected by the Local Authorities or deposited at Household Waste Recycling Centres

At a national level, the Government published its own Resource and Waste Strategy in 2018 and is currently planning further consultation on several aspects of this. In addition, although the UK left the EU at the end of 2020, European legislation will continue to influence waste policy through the Circular Economy Package. However, the Government’s new Environment Bill which is being taken through Parliament, will establish the future path for England.

On a local scale, the management of household waste in Devon and Torbay is undertaken by the 10 Local Authorities who work together to develop waste strategy across the authorities under the leadership of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee (DASWC).

Torbay Council, as a Unitary Authority and a member of DASWC is closely aligned with the Devon authorities, having responsibilities for both collection and disposal.  Torbay’s collection system follows the Devon aligned option and they are part of the South West Devon Waste Partnership which delivers residual waste to the Devonport Energy from Waste Combined Heat & Power plant in Plymouth.  Torbay are party to this Strategy but have also written a strategy of their own.


Despite the impact of austerity and Covid-19, significant progress has been made on achieving all targets set out the 2013 review. By working together closely and sharing resources, the Devon authorities have achieved a recycling rate of 56.6% in 2019/20, maintaining their position near the top of the English two tier Waste Disposal Authorities’ recycling league. Household waste growth is also being held at -0.3%. Torbay achieved a recycling rate of 40.4% with a growth rate of 0.8%.

However, there are ever more challenging targets to be met and this Strategy describes the way in which local authorities within Devon and Torbay will manage resources and waste (under their control) from 2020 – 2030 and to set targets to reach and policies to manage waste. Its focus is on waste prevention, reuse and recycling as well as reducing the carbon impact of waste management.

The key objectives are:

  • To manage Devon’s and Torbay’s waste in a sustainable and cost efficient manner
  • To minimise the waste we create
  • To reduce the impact of resource and waste management in Devon and Torbay on climate change by implementing the waste hierarchy and tailoring operations to reduce the waste carbon footprint
  • To maximise the value of the resources we use and preserve the stock of material resources i.e. Preserve natural capital and practice resource efficiency

Have your say

You can provide feedback on the Strategy as follows:

This is an online consultation, however, if you need the document in a different format, please get in touch using the contact details below:

Address: Strategy Consultation Team, Waste Management Team, Matford Offices, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD


What are the next steps for the Strategy?

The consultation responses will be reviewed to gain an understanding of local opinion. Appropriate amendments will be considered and it is anticipated that the Strategy will be presented for final approval to the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee in June and subsequently to the individual councils, with the Strategy published planned to be in the Autumn.