Mid Devon’s kerbside recycling service has had a smooth transfer to Mid Devon District Council control. Staff from the former contractor, Mid Devon Community Recycling, transferred in February and they have made sure the service continued with no disruption to householders. The volunteers with learning disabilities who were helping with recycling are now working with the Tiverton Town Council in keeping Tiverton town centre clean and tidy.
The council’s head of Waste Services, Gary Pilling, told the Devon Week: “Thanks to Mid Devon Community Recycling, we were among the best 25 per cent of councils in the country for customer satisfaction with kerbside recycling. It is very important to us that we maintain that standard of service and look for ways we can improve.
“The first part of doing things better is to look at the lorries we use. We know that in these tough times cost savings need to be found. Investment in new vehicles and new ways of working will help to lower the cost of recycling to the tax payer.”
A new vehicle is currently being trialled in the district. The vehicle, a Terberg Kerbsider, is already used by more than 30 other UK councils for kerbside recycling collections.
When the transfer of staff took place there were some legal barriers relating to the transfer of some volunteers with learning disabilities. These volunteers had been working on a temporary basis with Mid Devon Community Recycling but could not be transferred to the employment of the council with permanent staff when the transfer took place.
Arrangements have since been put in place for these willing and valued volunteers to help Tiverton Town Council. The four individuals now spend up to nine hours a week litter picking and tidying areas in the town centre. This arrangement is proving beneficial to both the Town Council, who have noticed a significant difference to the cleanliness of the areas litter picked, as well as the volunteers who are finding their new activities to be very satisfying.