Have your say on Torbay’s Resource and Waste Strategy Consultation

(Last Updated On: September 28, 2020)

Torbay Council has big plans to reduce its carbon footprint and increase recycling rates from 40% to 50% over the next two to three years – and they need your help.

Did you know up to 52% of waste found in Torbay’s residual waste bins could have actually been recycled?

Or that 20% of waste in the bins was food waste, which could have been put into your food waste bin?

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture said: “We all know there’s a climate emergency and radical action needs to be taken to reduce our carbon footprint and increase recycling rates.

“Neighbouring authorities like Teignbridge (56%) and East Devon (60.5%) have much higher recycling rates and we know that we can and must do better.

“We will be developing a program of activities to promote recycling resources across Torbay by educating our communities about the impact of wasted resources and what can be recycled.

“In Torbay we are not recycling enough, but there are lots of things currently being put in people’s waste bins that could easily be recycled and we have the data to back this up. Three weekly collections – where appropriate – for non-recyclable household waste along with other measures to encourage people to recycle more should help reduce waste and boost recycling.

“Remember, the more you recycle, the more space you will have in your residual waste bin for the non-recyclable stuff.

“So please do have your say and let us know what you think about our plans by filling out the survey.”

The Council’s Resource and Waste Strategy demonstrates their commitment to becoming a carbon neutral council and working with the local community, as outlined in its Community and Corporate Plan.

Key proposals in the strategy

Increasing food waste collection rates which are relatively low compared with other areas will be one of the top priorities, while proposals in the consultation will include:

– Developing a program of activities to promote recycling resources across Torbay by educating communities about the impact of wasted resources and what can be recycled.

– An opt-in chargeable kerbside Garden waste service – supported by more than 50% of respondents to the budget consultation.

– Trial of three weekly residual waste collections – this aims to encourage recycling and will reduce the amount of waste that goes to the energy from waste plant and therefore reduces disposal costs.

– Charging for materials at the Household waste recycling centre used in building projects – for example plasterboard, rubble and asbestos – this would bring Torbay in line with Devon which already charges for these items.

Mythbusting – what isn’t happening

There has already been some misunderstanding about what is being proposed so Torbay Council have clarified the following:

– The trial itself won’t be until next year – what’s happening on Monday 28th September is that the consultation on our Resource and Waste Strategy is going live and this consultation will last for 6 weeks. The 3 weekly trial won’t be until February next year with roll out to appropriate properties later in the year if successful.

– Regardless of what happens there will still be weekly recycling and food waste collections from households – so over a 3 week period there would actually be 7 collections – 3x recycling collections, 3x food waste collections, and 1x non-recyclable (residual waste) collections.

– It will not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach – it is recognised that there will be some properties that won’t be suitable for 3 weekly residual waste collections – these are likely to be the properties that currently have weekly collections and have seagull proof sacks instead of bins – so these properties, many of which are in town centres, are likely to stay the same. The strategy mentions that we will be working with landlords in some areas to improve recycling facilities etc as well.

– Although it will save money, Torbay Council state the top priority is helping the environment and reducing carbon footprint. A survey of bins in Torbay found that up to 52% of stuff that was put in the household/residual waste bins could actually have been recycled – and that up to 20% of content of people’s residual waste bins was actually food waste, which of course can go in the food waste bin.

More information

– Have your say – Click here the link to say what you think on the online survey https://www.torbay.gov.uk/surveys/wastestrategy/wastestrategy2020.htm

– Resource and Waste Strategy – Click here to read the strategy which outlines the plans. https://www.torbay.gov.uk/media/14709/resource-and-waste-management-strategy-draft-for-consultation.pdf

– Recycle more – Click here to find out more about recycling and what goes in each bin or box. https://www.torbay.gov.uk/recycling/

– Book a slot at the Recycling Centre – All Recycling Centre visits must now be booked in advance and it’s quicker and easier to book online. Click here to book your slot. https://www.torbay.gov.uk/recycling/recycling-centre/

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  1. Why move 'Household Waste' to a three weekly collection, would it not be better to make recycling every two weeks instead of each week and leave 'Household Waste' at two weekly? There are some residents in my area who generate so much more rubbish than what will fit in their Wheelie Bin with the bin lid open and bags stacked on top plus deposit up to six or seven black bin bags along side, which then the seagulls attack and cause rubbish everywhere, no attempt being made by the Householder to clear the mess created and it blows into other peoples driveways.
    With the bags put out the night before, you wake up on collection day morning with the street looking like a tip. We desperately need inspectors to patrol these locations to stop these culprits and fine them for creating the mess they cause.
    It's beggars belief what rubbish these householders will generate if the collections go to three weekly. We will end up with filthy streets all over the 'Bay' and then create a Rat problems for all to deal with.

  2. You cannot rely on the public to recycle. At least when all recycling went in one bin and was sorted out elsewhere by paid workers you could rely on them to do it. A high percentage of people just dont care and you will never change those peoples ways, so matters have to be taken out of the publics hands as much as possible.
    You could try charging companies that create the materials the cost of disposal of said materials maybe by returning all waste back to them for disposal when it comes to the end of its lifespan. The cost of disposal should be taken into account when they create said materials.