Labour-led Exeter City Council is currently the best performing of all Devon’s district councils when it comes to producing the least amount of waste per head. This has decreased by a further 3kg per head in 2020/21 to 293 kg per person. Waste management priorities are reduce, reuse, recycle in that order, so by producing less waste the residents of Exeter are reducing all waste materials including recyclables.
The Council also has a leading material reclamation facility, which when it was built was one of the first in the County. This facility enables us to recycle a far wider range of materials than most councils.
Food Waste roll-out continues apace and by end of May over 20,000 (a third) of Exeter homes will receive the service. Food waste makes up approximately 38% of black bin contents and recycling it could boost Exeter’s recycling rates to over 50% when roll-out is complete.
The latest areas of the city to benefit from the roll-out will be parts of St Thomas and Cowick, where 2,350 households will start on the scheme from 27 April.
Using anaerobic digestion rather than incineration to generate energy from food waste also helps with our 2023 Net zero target as it reduces the City’s carbon emissions from incineration, and the anaerobic process generates gas and electricity as well an organic soil-improver by-product.
Yet again the residents of Exeter demonstrate their commitment to recycling although our glass recycling is collected from glass banks rather than the kerbside the recycling rates are comparable to other districts, glass accounts for only 5% of Exeter’s residual waste compared with 1-3% for the other Devon District Councils.
Its worth noting Councils are still waiting to hear Government plans for standardisation of waste collection across nations (promised at the beginning on 2022) and any changes to current collection methods would have to be funded by Government and not from Exeter’s council tax.
So it makes sense therefore for ECC to wait for this before we consider introducing changes to to Exeter’s glass collection provision. Food waste rollout is taking up a significant amour of ECC resource so priority us to focus in completing this before introducing any further changes to waste collections.