Consultation 2013 (closed)

Background information and the budget

The waste consultation is now closed. The responses have been considered and the proposals revised.

Read the results of the consultation.


Devon County Council is the Waste Disposal Authority and we have a legal responsibility to dispose of domestic waste collected by the district councils, when they empty your bins. We also provide Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), which allow residents to dispose of their bulky household waste.

In addition to these services, we also lead on communications through the ‘Don’t let Devon go to waste’ awareness campaign and promote waste education in schools. We also manage a number of contracts for disposal, recycling, composting, and the HWRCs.

The total budget for the Waste Management Service in 2013/14 is: £33.8 million.

efw plant exeterWe work closely with the district and unitary councils of Devon and together they implement the Waste and Resource Management Strategy for Devon. This focuses on reducing, re-using, recycling and composting as much waste as possible before recovering energy from the waste or landfilling it.

In 2012/13 the county council dealt with 355,000 tonnes of household waste. 100,000 tonnes of waste were recycled and 95,000 tonnes of garden and food waste were composted. This means that Devon has one of the highest recycling rates in the country at 55%.

The remaining black bin rubbish (160,000 tonnes) was landfilled. To reduce the environmental impact of waste disposal the county council is looking at ways to divert waste from landfill. We have commissioned an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant (which converts waste to electricity) currently under construction in Exeter and we are currently working in partnership with Torbay and Plymouth Councils to deliver an EfW plant in Plymouth.

These plants will allow us to direct 120,000 tonnes of black bin rubbish (around one third of the county’s waste) away from landfill, by the end of 2014.

We are making great progress in looking at ways to divert waste from landfill, which will benefit the environment and help to reduce costs.

There is still a need to find further savings across the service, especially as budgets are reduced and costs for landfill increase.

Previous budget reductions

Over the last few years a range of efficiency savings have been made through re-tendering and re-negotiating current contracts and expanding partnership working with the district and unitary councils.

We have also closed the least cost-effective and least-used sites which have included two household recycling centres and seven temporary recycling centres.

Charges for certain types of waste and restrictions on vehicle types to reduce trade abuse were introduced at HWRCs in April 2011.

As a result of all of these changes, savings of more than £3.5 million have already been made over the last two years.

Current budgetary provision

Our Waste Management Service currently provides:

  • The disposal of domestic residual waste £17.4m (54%of budget)
  • Composting/digestion of garden and food waste £5.8m (16% of budget)
  • 20 Household Waste Recycling Centres £5m (15% of budget)
  • Payment of statutory recycling credits to district councils and discretionary credits to third parties £4.2m (13% of budget) – for every tonne of waste the district council recycles, the County Council has a legal obligation to pay them a recycling credit. There is the option to pay these ‘credits’ to third parties instead (e.g. community groups)
  • Staff £0.7m (2% of budget)
  • Management of closed landfill sites £0.4m (1% of budget)
  • Waste education and behavioural change communication activities £0.3m (1% of budget).