Recycling in West Devon is collected using the kerbside sort method. This means that the recycling is sorted into different compartments of the collection vehicle depending on the material. This method helps us maintain a good quality of recyclables which makes them easier to recycle.

When the collection vehicles are full they tip the recycling at Hayedown depot, near Tavistock. From there the recyclables are bulked by type and sent to be recycled. The metals and plastics are sent to Exeter City Council's Materials Reclamation Facility for further sorting before being sent for recycling.

The below table details final re-processors for recycling collected at the kerbside and in our recycling banks.

MaterialSorting FacilityFinal Re-processorEnd Product
PET plastic bottlesExeter City Council Materials Reclamation FacilityRoydon, GwentPET bottles
Natural HDPE plastic bottlesExeter City Council Materials Reclamation FacilityBiffa UK Polymers, ClevelandHDPE bottles
Coloured HDPE plastic bottlesExeter City Council Materials Reclamation FacilityPolypipe Civils, LincolnshirePlastic Pipes
Aluminium cansExeter City Council Materials Reclamation FacilityNovelis Recycling, CheshireAluminium Cans
Steel cansExeter City Council Materials Reclamation FacilityCelsa, CardiffRebar (reinforcing rods in concrete)
Papern/aDS SmithNewsprint
Cardboardn/aSmurfitt Cappa, KentCorrugated card
Glassn/aURM, West YorkshireGlass containers
Textiles (from kerbside)n/aWilcoxSent for reuse in Developing Nations
Batteriesn/aWastecare, HalifaxSteel for the automotive industry, nickel for coins, iron for construction, manganese for paint and lead for batteries and roofing
Drinks cartons (from banks)n/aAce UK, West YorkshireCoreboard (tubes)
Textiles (from banks)n/aSalvation ArmySent for reuse in Developing Nations

Recyclables are a commodity that can generate an income for the Council which is used to subsidise collections and other services. We work closely with our contractor, FCC Environment, to ensure that our recyclables, where possible, are kept within the UK.

In October 2019, we will be improving our service to include a wider variety of materials collected at the kerbside, including a wider range of plastics. We have worked with our contractor to ensure that they have identified sustainable re-processors for these additional materials before introducing the change.

Food and Garden Waste

The contents of the food caddies is tipped by the collection vehicles at Hayedown depot, near Tavistock. Here it is bulked before being delivered to Andigestion's Anaerobic Digestion Facility in Holsworthy. The material is broken down in a series of sealed, oxygen free tanks to produce methane, a gas used to generate electricity and digestate, a nutrient rich fertiliser used by local farmers.

Garden waste collected from subscribing households is tipped directly at Artiscombe Farm, near Tavistock. Here the garden waste is composted in large heaps which are turned every few weeks to improve breakdown of the waste. The resulting compost is used by local farmers.

Residual Waste

The black sacks are tipped by the collection vehicles at Crowndale Transfer Station where it is bulked before being delivered to MVV's Energy from Waste (EfW) and Combined Heat & Power (CHP) facility in Plymouth. The waste is used as a fuel to heat water into superpower steam which turns a turbine to create electricity.