East Devon urged ‘be patient’ while lockdown cardboard recycling backlog is collected

Kerbside cardboard recycling has doubled in East Devon since the coronavirus lockdown and households are asked to be patient while the backlog is collected.

Becca Gliddon eastdevonnews.co.uk 
East Devon District Council (EDDC) said since the coronavirus lockdown in March, monthly cardboard collections have increased from 250 tonnes to 526 tonnes, with no signs of any let up.Council waste contractors have laid on extra lorries to collect the additional cardboard and residents are asked to show understanding if any is left behind.

Households are asked to store uncollected cardboard and help the crews by putting out smaller loads over several collections.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “The increased volumes means that our partners Suez UK, who collect recycling and waste on the council’s behalf, are having to work doubly hard to do so.

“There have been occasions when the collection crews have had to leave some cardboard at the kerbside as recycling vehicles have filled so quickly.

“To help this situation, extra vehicles have been deployed just to collect cardboard and residents are asked to be patient if their cardboard may have been left behind.

“Households are asked to store any uncollected cardboard and put it out over a number of collections to help spread the load for the crews.”

During the lockdown period, from March to June, the East Devon’s 70,000 households recycled a ‘far greater volume’ of materials than ever before, the council said.

Glass recycling increased by an extra 20 tonnes and there was a 50 tonne increase in food waste during the pandemic.

The council said the greatest increase was cardboard as internet shopping and home delivery soared when all non-essential shops were shut.

“This has meant that the amount of cardboard packaging put out at the kerbside for collection in East Devon has increased two-fold,” EDDC said.

Cllr Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for coast, countryside and environment, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to change our habits, and recycling has become even more important than usual as we adjust to the changes.

“East Devon households have responded to this magnificently.

“The recyclables we all put out for collection are valuable resources and by recycling in the way we are, we are all helping to provide the raw materials to help re-start the UK economy and protect our environment as we recover.”