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Where does East Devon’s plastic rubbish go?

  • by JW

Recycling contractors “are mostly based in the UK and subject to rigorous vetting by Devon County Council or our contractor Suez.”

East Devon continues to be top when it comes to recycling:

Devon’s number one district for recycling is currently East Devon on 60 per cent – the only authority currently on three-weekly waste collections. By comparison, Exeter City Council has the worst rate in Devon at 28 per cent.

Plans for three-weekly bin collections in Mid Devon – Radio Exe

However, it is Devon county council which is ultimately responsible for most of the recycling – and even they managed to muddy the waters, with a recent dismissal of a FOI request:

Devon County Council do not hold any of the information requested. 

The first website mentioned within “updated websites” What happens to your recycling? – Recycle Devon reflects the general activities of the District Councils throughout Devon (the Waste Collection Authorities) and does not relate to Household Waste Recycling Centre activities. 

The Recycle Now website is a third party website.

Plastic Processing – Freedom of information

Here’s an explanation of the system:

Devon County Council is responsible for the safe disposal of all municipal household waste generated in the eight districts of Devon.

Devon County Council – Waste and Recycling

Your local district, city or borough council is responsible for collecting household rubbish and recycling.

Household Collections | Devon County Council

Information on the recycling and waste service.

Recycling and waste – East Devon

Dry recyclables are all separated at our plant at Greendale in Woodbury Salterton. They are baled and sent to a range of processors. After processing they are sent to manufacturers to be used as secondary raw materials to make new products. Most of the processors are located in the UK but sometimes we use processors based in Europe or Asia.

You’ll find a list of our recycling destinations below. We use several different processors depending on changes in the market. We are unable to name the contractors, as the details are commercially sensitive, but you can see here that they are mostly based in the UK and subject to rigorous vetting by Devon County Council or our contractor Suez.

Where does my recycling end up? – East Devon

  • The majority of East Devon materials are processed in the UK, from time to time we will use overseas markets for some materials when UK capacity is not available or price conditions are advantageous e.g. cardboard – Belgium, Germany, India
  • East Devon District Council reporting/regulatory obligations end when material is transferred to a processor. At this point the processor takes on ownership. All tonnages and processing destinations are reported to the Environment Agency.
  • As markets change rapidly and material is aggregated it is not possible for Devon County Council, East Devon District Council or SUEZ to track any onward export of material by a processor.
  • Processors are regulated by the Environment Agency – East Devon District Council and SUEZ only use permitted processors

Recycling processor vetting – East Devon

So, that’s alright then.