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National award for scheme that’s boosted kerbside collections and recycling

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An innovative scheme which has allowed Devon’s district councils to improve their kerbside waste collection services and improve recycling rates has won a national award.

The Devon Authorities Shared Saving Scheme was recognised as the ‘Best New Idea’ at the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) Celebration Awards 2021. 

We accepted the award on behalf of five of Devon’s waste collection authorities, East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils, who we work with.

The scheme has led to us to save £6.8m in treatment costs, and half of this extra money has been shared back with the five District Councils which has enabled them to improve their waste collection services.

It has also increased recycling rates for those authorities and improved recycling collection services for over 250,000 Devon households.

The scheme has allowed the five authorities to change their kerbside collections knowing that savings that they generate in cheaper treatment costs or a reduction in waste volumes will be shared back with them to fund further initiatives and improvements.

It has also supported the introduction of separate weekly food waste collections and partly subsidised separate garden waste collections which has improved the amount of food waste collected.

Average recycling levels within the five District Council areas have improved overall from 47.9 per cent to 55.2 per cent with a reduction in waste volumes of 25kg per head (6 per cent).

Councillor Roger Croad, our Cabinet Member responsible for waste and recycling said:

“Congratulations to our waste team for delivering this innovative scheme and our district council colleagues – this is a great example of Devon’s councils working together.

“It has improved local services for more than a quarter of a million people and it’s great that it has been nationally recognised.”

Councillor Geoff Jung, the chair of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee (DASWC) said:

“I’m delighted that Devon’s councils have been recognised nationally. It shows yet again that by pooling our expertise and knowledge for the greater good of Devon we can, increase efficiency, improve recycling rates and reduce costs to enable us to continue to improve the services we can offer.”

Councillor Geoff Jung, chair of DASWC