Mid Devon Recycling Project Mid Devon Community Recycling (MDCR), in partnership with Mid Devon District Council, started a trial collection of cartons in February 2004. The trial proved a success, and cartons have recently been added to the range of materials collected from all the 24,000 houses which receive MDCR’s collection service.
Prior to the trial, MDCR had two concerns about carton recycling. Firstly, they were worried that cartons might be too space consuming on their lorries, and secondly they thought cartons might prove difficult to bale.
The trial served to allay both fears. Ken Orchard, Managing Director of MDCR said, “When a family are recycling effectively, cartons often represent a large proportion of their remaining dustbin content. However, we encourage householders to wash and squash cartons prior to putting them into their recycling box and consequently volume hasn’t posed any problems for us. As far as baling goes, we waited for our first bale with some trepidation but were delighted to find that the cartons made a neat and compact bale.”
The cartons are stored in large plastic sacks on the lorries and each lorry fills 2/3 sacks per day. The sacks are then emptied straight into a baler.
Mid Devon Community Recycling have found the addition of cartons to the range of materials collected to be cost-neutral. Simon Hill, Recycling Officer of Mid Devon District Council said, “We’re delighted to be able to improve the service we deliver to Mid Devon householders at no additional expense to the Council Tax payer”.
The feedback that the company are receiving from the public suggests that people are delighted to be able to recycle cartons. On receiving the information leaflet one woman commented, “My children will be delighted. I’ve always refused to buy them drinks which are packed in cartons because we didn’t have any facilities to recycle them.”
A further pay back is that participation rates in the collection scheme increased following MDCR’s leafleting of householders telling them that drinks cartons would be added to the collected materials.