East Devon residents have recycled a record-breaking 1,200 tonnes of rubbish and food waste in just 12 days over Christmas and New Year.
Householders racked up the huge haul – the equivalent in weight of four jumbo jets – between December 27 and January 7.
Cranbrook was the district’s top town – with Exmouth a close second.
This is the most recycling that East Devon has ever collected – Cllr Geoff Jung
East Devon has topped the table nationally for the least amount of rubbish thrown away by each household, according to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs statistics.
It has been ranked 15th out of more than 300 English local authorities for recycling – with a rate of 59 per cent in 2018/19.
Christmas and New Year is the peak time of year for East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) refuse collection crews, which have had to work long hours.
Cranbrook residents recycled the most during the period – including 180 tonnes on a single day on December 30.
Exmouth householders were close behind – recycling a total of 300 tonnes on the two collections days of December 28 and January 4.
Councillor Geoff Jung, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This is a phenomenal result and I have nothing but praise and gratitude for our residents for playing their part in recycling so much and protecting our environment.
“This is the most recycling that East Devon has ever collected and thank you to our hard-working crews who collected this huge volume of recycling.”
Recycled materials will be used to manufacture new products, generate energy or make fertilisers for the South West’s farms.
Before the festive season, EDDC launched a novel way to help residents find out everything they need to know about recycling – with Amazon Alexa.
It is believed to be the first local authority in the country to embark on such an initiative. More than 600 residents have used the ‘skill’ already.
Cllr Kim Bloxham, lead member for Cranbrook said: “We have been promoting recycling in Cranbrook and we are particularly pleased and encouraged that the community has responded in this way.”