Last year we helped Lucy recycle 75% of her waste

Recycling is at the heart of everything we do and we believe that youngsters like Lucy are the key to a better future.

Working in partnership with Recycle Devon and on behalf of Devon County Council, we constantly strive to find new ways to increase recycling rates. This includes installing a sophisticated materials sorting and recovery plant that enables us to ensure our commercial waste is separated so that the bare minimum goes to landfill.

Lucy, aged 8, believes recycling is essential if we are to preserve and protect the environment. She helps her parents to separate the family’s waste ready for their trip to their local recycling centre, which they know has a high recycling success rate. Any green garden waste they can’t compost at home is also taken to the recycling centre so it can be composted on farms and used on her local fields. While there, she helps her dad to ensure any bits and pieces of rubbish, such as old fence panels and paving slabs, are put into the right containers.

Lucy knows that any black bin bags that are put out for collection will end up in landfill. Her family now takes care to cut down on food waste by cooking less and leaving their plates clean.

Having taken the time and care to separate her waste, it’s now our job to ensure Lucy’s ‘waste’ is properly recycled.

We will send her paper to a special mill where it will be shredded and pulped and turned back into paper.

We will sort the aluminium tins from the steel cans using a giant magnet and then crush and bale the aluminium and send it for processing into sheets. Manufacturers can then use it for a variety of things. In Devon it is mostly made into car parts like alloy wheels. The steel is also sent for reprocessing. In Devon, our steel is commonly re-used in road materials, railways, infrastructure and buildings.

Lucy’s glass will be sent to a reprocessing company to be cleaned and crushed so it can be made into new bottles or jars.

And her textiles will be stored on our site until they are collected and taken for sorting. Most of them can be worn again and will be sold in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The rest will largely be made into industrial cleaning cloths.

Devon currently recycles 52.6 percent of its waste. People like Lucy prove that with a bit of time and care it is possible to regularly recycle 70 per cent of our waste - but only if we all play our part. Devon County Council has set a target in it Municipal Waste Management Strategy for Devon to recycle or compost 60 per cent of all municipal waste by 2020. Will you join Lucy, Recycle Devon and us in helping to make that happen?

Find out more at Recyle Devon

*Lucy’s picture has been deliberately changed to protect her identity

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