Waste and recycling crews in Torbay have been working hard to catch up following the Christmas holidays which have generated a large amount of additional materials.

In total between 22 December and 5 January, crews have collected an increase of 157 tonnes of recycling – approximately another 35 more vehicle loads compared to the same period the previous year. This also means it has taken considerably longer to sort the waste and recycling.

This year has seen a large increase in cardboard packaging in particular due to the pandemic and more people having home deliveries (it is estimated there was around 20 per cent more cardboard packaging in local recycling collections than the previous Christmas period in 2019).

All recycling rounds should be caught up in the week commencing 18 January and back to a normal routine. Out of a total of 66,000 households in Torbay, there are currently around 11,000 households (around 16%) still to receive their collections, so the vast majority have been caught up. These services in the Bay are now delivered by SWISCo, a new company wholly owned and delivering services on behalf of Torbay Council.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “Our crews are working really hard and have collected most of the Christmas recycling. To speed up the process we have put in additional measures including shuttling spare vehicles direct to crews on the ground so they can continue avoiding wasted time by returning to the depot to empty. Our garage is maintaining vehicles numbers the best they can to ensure we have additional vehicles and area prioritising recycling vehicles.

“So please do bear with our crews, as we are getting there but there have been incredibly large volumes of recycling to collect.”

Most waste and recycling services are continuing as usual despite the lockdown – you can find out more on our recycling pages.

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