We have approved our new Resource and Waste Strategy following consultation with local residents, though there are some changes from our original proposals following feedback.

We launched a consultation on the ‘Less waste, more space’ strategy in September 2020 and more than 800 residents responded to an online survey. The aim of the strategy is to increase recycling rates in Torbay from 40% to around 50% over the next three years and reduce Torbay’s carbon footprint.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture said: “We’d like to thank all those residents who took the time to respond the consultation with their views – we are committed to making it as easy as possible for people in Torbay to recycle and we value all your feedback.

“We all know there’s a climate emergency and radical action needs to be taken to reduce our carbon footprint and increase recycling rates. We know, for example that around 20% of the contents of people’s non-recyclable waste bins in Torbay is food waste – which could have gone in their food waste bin and saved space in their wheeled bins – as well as being used to make compost to generate electricity at a local facility in Devon.”

Leader Steve Darling said: “We’re signed up to the Devon Climate Emergency here in Torbay and helping residents to recycle more is just one of the ways we want to reduce our carbon footprint. We are also undergoing a comprehensive tree planting and urban flower planting programme across the Bay.”

Better education and information about recycling, changes at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Paignton and a review of collections are just some of the measures included in the strategy. An original proposal to trial three weekly non-recyclable waste collections in an area of Torbay has however been stopped for now, following feedback from residents.

In recent months, we have already introduced a number of improvements, including creating the new company SWISCo on 1st July 2020 to provide waste and recycling services, purchasing a fleet of brand new Romaquip recycling services, and introducing pre-bookable appointments at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Paignton.

The key actions agreed in the strategy are:

  • Increase education, engagement and communication – New Recycling Coordinators have been appointed by SWISCo and the Council is working with SWISCo to improve access to recycling information in print, online and via social media.
  • Changes at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre – We have brought Torbay into line with the rest of Devon through the introduction of charges at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) for certain types of non-household waste.
  • Support local residents to help increase recycling rates - Practical advice will be given to help with containment capacity, such as squashing plastic bottles and flattening cardboard, to reduce the volume of the recycling which will then fit into less containers.
  • Introduce a garden waste collection service – this is being considered as an opt-in, chargeable service for those who want a household garden waste collection in addition to their other collections.
  • Review collections from flats, multiple occupancy buildings and town centres – We will work with residents and landlords to overcome the barriers to recycling.
  • Develop commercial waste services - We will work in partnership with SWISCo to develop the commercial waste and recycling customer base within Torbay.
  • Improve street scene services - We will undertake a complete review of our litter, street cleansing and fly tipping services
  • Review of recycling banks - We will review the current recycling bank provision and consider putting additional recycling banks for materials such as cardboard, plastic and cans.

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