Woodbury cardboard collection trial due to start in March

Mary Youlden's picture
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 10:44am

Further information for the residents of Woodbury about a trial to collect cardboard in an additional recycling bag will be sent out later this month.

From March 1, around 850 households in the village will be asked to collect their cardboard in a white foldaway collection bag instead of their green recycling box and have it collected from the kerbside with their other recycling containers on their usual recycling collection day.

Every household will receive a letter from East Devon District Council’s recycling team with more information about the trial, and when their new white bag will be delivered.

SUEZ, the council’s waste and recycling contractor, is funding the trial as part of its commitment to investing in the future of the service.  Its team will hold regular community engagement events in Woodbury throughout the trial to speak to residents about how it is working for them, and the information collected will help shape the future of recycling in East Devon. The first event will be on Tuesday 12 February at Woodbury Village Hall from 6pm to 8pm and residents are invited to drop in, meet officers from East Devon District Council and SUEZ, and find out more about the trial. Further sessions will be held at the Village Hall on Tuesday 12 March and Tuesday 28 May.

Cardboard is increasingly being used in packaging and we are collecting more from East Devon households every month. It’s a trend that is likely to continue as our shopping habits are changing and we buy more products online that are frequently packaged in cardboard. At the same time, East Devon continues to grow – there are now almost 70,000 homes in the district – and so does the number of recycling and waste collection rounds needed each week.  The council’s recycling service needs to plan ahead to meet these changing demands and to give households more capacity to recycle in the future. 

Currently, cardboard is collected by households in their green box alongside glass. Sometimes glass is broken in the boxes and this contaminates the cardboard which can make it difficult to recycle. The recycling markets are demanding higher quality materials so we need to ensure that materials are separated well and not contaminated in order to sell them for recycling at the best price possible. The money raised through selling recycling helps pay for the collections, so it’s important that good quality materials are collected from households to make the service sustainable in the long term.

Collecting cardboard separately may help our crews to pick up the recycling more efficiently.  It will allow the crews to tip cardboard directly into the correct compartment, helping to prevent glass mixing with the cardboard and reducing the amount of time it takes for crews to collect each household’s recycling.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment said: “We’re here to help our Woodbury residents throughout the trial so if you have any questions after you have received the information we’re sending you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re very grateful to everyone who takes part and we’ll be sending you a questionnaire to seek your views which will help shape the future of the council’s recycling and waste service.”

Woodbury has been chosen for the trial as it has a mix of properties and makes up a single collection round with one crew. This means that the benefits from the trial can be measured more accurately. The white bags are weighted too, which means there’s less chance of the cardboard falling out and littering the environment.

For further information about the trial call 01395 571515 or visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/Woodbury/