University of Exeter rubbish revamp set to boost city recycling rates

Rubbish from the University of Exeter will now be picked up by the city council in a bid to boost recycling rates.  

The educational institution recently re-tendered the service and the contract was awarded to a partnership comprising of the authority and Binit.

The two organisations will work together to help the university increase the amount of its waste that is recycled.

The university will use its experience to find high-quality end uses for recyclable material to maximise the environmental benefits.

Exeter City Council will operate collections of ‘dry’ recycling items such as glass, cardboard, cans and plastics – all collected separately to maximise quality – as well as general rubbish.

Binit will arrange collections of food waste as well as ‘difficult’ materials like mattresses and duvets.

An Exeter City Council spokesman has confirmed that the university will be paying the authority to collect the waste and recycling as part of a commercial contract.

It comes as the latest Devon-wide statistics show only 27.1 per cent of waste is recycled in the city – by far the lowest in the county and down 2.9 per cent on the previous year.

One of the reasons stated for the decline in recycling rates was the increase in the number of purpose-built student housing developments where the management companies choose to pay for extra weekly refuse collections.

The new arrangement is another change to the way in which recycling is set to take place in Exeter.

Exeter City Council last month unanimously agreed to change the way waste is collected and to move to a three-weekly model, as used in East Devon.

Under the new proposals, glass would be collected from the kerbside rather than residents having to take their empty bottles and jars to recycling banks around the city.

Householders would be issued with a food waste bin and a kitchen caddy.

Extra recycling boxes and bags would also be issued to householders to allow for the collection of glass bottles and jars.

Collections of recyclable materials would take place weekly, but ‘black bin’ pick-ups would only take place every three months.

The changes are set to take place in 2021.

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