Recession sees Mid Devon bring recycling in-house

Mid Devon district council is set to take its household recycling collection service in-house due to economic pressures on its external recycling collection contractor meaning it would not be able to continue the service without council help.

MDCR did the hard work of persuading people to recycle and think about their waste back before it was fashionable to do so

Cllr Ray Radford, Mid Devon district council

Voluntary group Mid Devon Community Recycling (MDCR) has collected recyclable material from 32,000 households in the council area since 2006 under a seven-year contract with the local authority.

However, the council is to bring the service in-house from January 2010 after the Hele-based organisation said it was adversely affected by the fall in prices paid for recovered material and that less material was being placed out for recycling due to the economic downturn.

Mid Devon district council will now fund the collections but the MDCR crews will continue to operate the service. The council has insisted that householders will not be affected by the change.

Councillor Ray Radford, portfolio holder for street scene, said: “MDCR have done an excellent job in the setting up and running of recycling collections in the district. They did the hard work of persuading people to recycle and think about their waste back before it was fashionable to do so.”

The announcement that the council would be taking over the service comes as a further blow to MDCR. The organisation had to cut back its trade recycling collection service in Mid and East Devon from 800 businesses to around 75 in August this year, again citing the economic downturn as the cause (see story).

Speaking at the time, MDCR and the council had said that the scaling back of the business collections would not affect the household collections. A spokesman for the council told that it appeared that the situation had changed.

Commenting on the new arrangement, Karen Abbott, MDCR general manager, said: “We are very much looking forward to taking the partnership with the district council a step further and building on the service we already provide.”

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