East Devon paper recycling pilot scheme to be tested further in 647 Exmouth homes

Possible changes to the way East Devon residents recycle paper will be further piloted in Exmouth – and trialled in 647 Brixington homes.

District council chiefs have agreed to roll out a second phase of testing after a small-scale scheme in the town proved a success late last year.

A similar initiative – in which households are given an extra sack specifically for paper – is currently used in Teignbridge.

It aims to reduce the level of contamination from glass and card and ‘increase productivity’ of refuse crews.

Residents are also being encouraged to further separate their recycling and prepare for increasing demands for ‘quality’ materials.

A paper sack trial was tested in 121 homes in Brixington, Exmouth, in November and December.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the households were monitored for six weeks before and after the sacks were delivered.

It added that, of the residents who recycled their rubbish, there was a 92.5 per cent participation rate.

The authority also said its contracted crews were, on average, ‘five minutes quicker’ with the paper-only items.

EDDC’s cabinet was told this week that 22 per cent of householders who used the test sacks still had paper in their recycling boxes.

Members agreed to stage a larger, second trial in some 647 Brixington homes.

The aim of the trial will be to gauge whether the method reduces the level of contamination in the paper.

This would in turn improve quality to command good prices in a competitive materials market and encourage residents to recycle more.

Results of the ‘phase two’ trial will be brought back before the council’s Recycling and Waste Partnership Board.

A recommendation will then be made to EDDC’s cabinet over whether the scheme should be rolled out across the rest of East Devon.

Some 850 homes in Woodbury took part in a similar trial last year in which they separated cardboard from the rest of their recycling.

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