Why do Exeter and Plymouth have such poor recycling rates?

Devon County Council has published their latest ‘Waste and Resource Management Strategy for Devon Review

The districts of West Devon and Teignbridge are doing really well. Check out the recycling rates below…

Authority Recycling Rates

East Devon
In 2004/5 recycling rate 16.40%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 48.5%

In 2004/5 recycling rate 20.74%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 36.2%

Mid Devon
In 2004/5 recycling rate 17.76%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 49.2%

North Devon
In 2004/5 recycling rate 22.08%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 44.6%

South Hams
In 2004/5 recycling rate 24.64%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 54.8%

In 2004/5 recycling rate 26.92%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 57.3%

In 2004/5 recycling rate 24.42%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 43.6%

West Devon
In 2004/5 recycling rate 28.60%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 59.9%

Devon County Household Waste Recycling Centres
In 2004/5 recycling rate 61.27%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 77.7%

Devon Total
In 2004/5 recycling rate 32.71%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 55.3%

In 2004/5 recycling rate 16.54%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 32.2%

In 2004/5 recycling rate 21.93%
In 2011/12 recycling rate 42.7%

Although these figures show recycling heading in the right direction, there’s a long way to go to reach Europe’s ambition to become a recycling society. Particularly when the UK government’s ‘Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011’ and associated Action Plan does not set any National recycling targets.

However, Europe’s vision is clear…

By 2020, waste is managed as a resource.

Waste generated per capita is in absolute decline.

Recycling and re-use of waste are economically attractive options for public and private actors due to widespread separate collection and the development of functional markets for secondary raw materials.

More materials, including materials having a significant impact on the environment and critical raw materials, are recycled.

Waste legislation is fully implemented.

Illegal shipments of waste have been eradicated.

Energy recovery is limited to non recyclable materials, landfilling is virtually eliminated and high quality recycling is ensured.