Q&A

Questions and answers submitted through Facebook, email, Twitter etc – all collated here for ease of reference…

Regarding April 2021 Recycling data:

This data is clearly of Community Interest and regular publication will assist efforts towards efficient Recycling. Extrapolation of the Monthly achievements will present an opportunity to develop Moving Annual Total(MAT) Graphical Forecasting of TRENDS, both Overall and by Commodity Product Group. This will show the reality of progress or otherwise without any Seasonality confusion. If such Forecasting has already been established to Support EDDC Targets for 2022/23 and beyond it would be interesting to share the Corporate aspiration at local level too. [Derek, Facebook]

Thanks Derek, I will bring this comment to the next Partnership Board Meeting

Why is there no specific facility for the collection of drinks cans on Exmouth seafront? (one or two mixed recycling bins on there but they don’t alert people to the fact that cans should be recycled). [Roger, Facebook]

Hi Roger, thanks for the question. On street recycling is a really difficult issue but one I know EDDC are keen to tackle. There is a huge amount of contamination (people just using any bin, or sticking food in the recycling, and vegware packaging just confuses it even more). But it is something I will raise with them and see if we can get a clearer regime organised. Personally I am for the deposit recycling scheme to come in ASAP but I know opinions within the council are mixed over how it will help. I will ask the question about the tins specifically and a wider improvement in facilities generally. Thanks

Thanks. This is interesting to see. Can I ask why there is a charge for rubble and earth at the recycling centres ? What happens to the earth and rubble which is deposited ? Do we know that none of our recycled items end up being exported ? [Richard, Facebook]

Hi Richard, got some answers for you – 1. Why is there a charge for rubble (this is a Devon County Council policy and their website – as kindly pointed out by one of their officers – does explain it…’Devon County Council only has a legal obligation to provide recycling centre facilities for household waste – waste arising from the day to day running of a household. Items resulting from the repair or improvement of houses, for example, DIY type waste, is classified as construction waste and there is no requirement for us to provide any service for the disposal of this material or accept it free of charge.

To avoid confusion, household waste comprises of the unwanted contents of the house and not part of the house itself. Construction waste also includes waste created from landscaping or garden alterations such as dismantling a rockery or digging up a patio/concrete hardstanding. In addition, vehicle tyres are not classed as household waste and therefore there is no requirement for us to accept them or accept them on a free of charge basis.

However, it is recognised that facilities are still needed for local residents to dispose of small amounts of DIY type waste and tyres, and so rather than withdrawing this service completely, we have made arrangements with site operators for this waste to be accepted for a charge. If you are undertaking a large-scale DIY project that will generate significant volumes of waste, you should hire a skip or arrange for alternative private disposal using a suitable licensed company.’

and 2. About what happens to everything – the more I delve the more I am torn – I am convinced that refuse, reuse, refill is the way to go, but where we have to recycle I am very much for the extended producer responsibility scheme, which should see the end to some of the much harder to recycle items, such as tetrapacks and crisp packets laminated with many layers of different plastic. If producers wish to continue producing them, they would be hit by a hefty tax which would go back to the recyclers. This would make products far less profitable.

I am satisfied that glass, foil, cardboard and paper is recycled well. I am sure that EDDC use only accredited reprocessors for plastics, and that our plastic bails are high quality and sought after. The only hesitation I have is in the reprocessors and what happens with any plastics that get rejected. I have asked for a trip to the reprocessors site to satisfy myself that all residue is accounted for, and also that the cleaning processes are not polluting.

As for rubble, we in the original post, I’ve been told ‘The soil/rubble is taken to local waste management sites for screening/crushing. Rubble is crushed into hardcore for use in engineering projects/tracks etc. Soil is used for things like noise/visual screening bunds/site restoration activities etc.’

Food waste is taken to an Anaerobic Digester in the South West where the food waste is used to generate electricity, provide gas for the grid and fertiliser for agriculture at an anaerobic digestion plant.

Have I missed anything? Thanks

It would be awesome if you shared this!

2 thoughts on “Q&A”

  1. Andy Cockeram

    The recent post on FB was very useful as a new resident of East Devon. One thing that struck me was the 400 tons placed in black/grey bins that could have been recycled. Can you give examples of what was found in these bins that could have been reallocated to recycling bins ? I am sure some people would do more if it was clearer or pointed out to them

    1. Hi Andy, thanks so much for the comment! A few years back a few of us from Sidmouth Plastic Warriors had a trip around the Energy from Waste plant, (https://sidmouthplasticwarriors.org/trip-to-exeter-energy-from-waste-facility-april-24-2018/) and it was easy to see from the pile that was being picked up by the giant claw that there were huge amounts of plastic bottles, tin cans, cardboard, food waste, paper and clothing that hadn’t been sorted out. A fair amount of it is likely to be from flats that have communal storage areas, as traditionally these have been the hardest to engage – where do people store their recycling before they take it out for example. So there is education, thinking outside the box and a general need for us to see ourselves as part of the team to close the loop. I hope I’m helping to achieve that by these unofficial posts. EDDC are doing a huge amount to help those with facilities as mentioned above, as well as starting to do spot checks on random bins to start highlighting the issue, and help people develop their knowledge of what to do with recycling. I think standardising the streams across the country, as is coming, will really help, so that visitors to holiday homes can also be fully involved in recycling and knowing what goes where, as it will be the same where they came from. Hope that helps explain things a bit? Thanks, Denise

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