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Devon’s recycling rates among the best in the country

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Devon is officially among the best in England when it comes to recycling and composting, according to latest figures published by the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

With a recycling and composting rate of 56.6 per cent for 2019/20, Devon has exceeded the national average of 45.5 per cent for another year running.

It also places Devon second out of 31 counties and waste authorities in England, a rise from third place in 2018/19.

Residents across the county have been making good use of their  local authority household recycling and composting collection schemes with those in East Devon recycling a staggering 60.5 per cent of their waste.  By collecting more materials for recycling and moving to a three-weekly residual waste collection system, East Devon District Council has reported a 15 per cent rise in recycling in three years, placing them in the top ten best performing councils in England

While recycling is good for the environment, reducing the overall amount of waste produced is even better. Exeter residents are among the best in the country at reducing their waste, ranking sixth lowest nationally with only 271.1kg of total household waste (recycling and residual) collected per person, compared to the national average of 353.1kg for 2019/20.

When it comes to disposing of waste, Devon now sends only 4.2 per cent of its municipal waste to landfill, which is down from 14.2 per cent in 2018/19. The remainder is sent for energy recovery including at facilities in Plymouth and Exeter .

Vice Chair of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee, Councillor David Harvey said:

“A huge thank you to the people of Devon for reducing, reusing and recycling their waste as much as possible.

“Residents have made big efforts to combat climate change and keep Devon a beautiful place to live.

“Whether it’s through embracing a new collection scheme, adopting new habits to reduce waste or remembering to recycle more items more often, we should be proud of our achievements.”

Councillor Andrea Davis Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for  waste and recycling said:

“Residents in Devon have much to be proud of, but let’s not forget there is more work to be done if all Devon councils are to reach the government set target of a 60 per cent recycling rate by 2030.

“East Devon is already there, and other authorities are very close – it would be fantastic if Devon could lead the way and hit the target first.”

For more information about reducing, reusing and recycling please visit the Recycle Devon website.