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Food waste collections expanded in Exeter as more households are included

Published: 17 January 2023

Food Waste Collections 4 Nov 21 (1 Of 41) Food waste collections are being expanded in Exeter

More households in Exeter are set to get food waste collections, the City Council has announced.

The latest phase of the roll-out is set to begin on 23 January, with properties in the St Loyes ward receiving caddies and a letter explaining how the collections will work this week (commencing 16 January).

The first phase of the scheme was rolled out in 2021, with 1,300 properties receiving the first weekly food waste collections in Alphington. The second phase then followed months later with the rest of Alphington added to the initiative.

Two thousand properties in Beacon Heath and Pinhoe were then added to the roll-out last year and the next phase will begin in a week’s time.

The initiative will then continue to be gradually introduced across the whole of the city. Once complete it is expected that the city’s recycling rate will see a dramatic increase, as food waste is 38% of a typical black bin in Exeter, according to the latest analysis carried out in 2022.

Other areas will be added to the roll-out as and when vehicles, drivers and containers are available and this will be dependent on the supply chain which is currently an issue across the UK.

Exeter City Council encourages people to only buy what they are likely to consume and is currently the best performing of all Devon’s district councils when it comes to producing the least amount of waste per head. This has decreased by a further 3kg per head in 2020/21 to 293kg per person.

However, adding a food waste collection service helps the planet and the battle against climate change, as well as increasing the city’s recycling rate. Currently food waste in Exeter goes in with the general ‘black bin’ collections and is sent to the city’s energy from waste plant at Marsh Barton.

Weekly collections of food waste in the St Loyes ward will shortly start taking place alongside existing collections of household waste and recycling (black and green bins).

Once collected, the food waste is sent off to be turned into soil improver while generating gas and electricity. 

Each household will receive a 23-litre kerbside caddy as well as a 5-litre grey kitchen caddy.

A dedicated page has been set up on the Council's website to deal with questions about the service, including how to line the caddy or bag up the food waste.

Dates for the rest of the city are still being looked at and will be clearly communicated with residents once a timetable has been developed. People are being requested not to call the Council but to visit the website where a set of frequently asked questions is available.

Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor with responsibility for Recycling and Waste Management, said: “It’s great to be adding more properties to the food waste roll-out.

“Again, the addition of other areas in a phased manner is ongoing. The rate of the roll-out is dependent on the availability of special food collection vehicles, drivers and domestic food waste containers, as well as expansion of capacity to hold waste at our site at Exton Road prior to transportation for anaerobic digestion.”

“I’d like thank people across the city for being patient with us for this. It’s great to be adding more properties but this will take time as it is a big undertaking for the whole of the city – and we will be in touch about when your street is about to be added to the roll-out.

“In the meantime, please don’t contact our staff unless you really need to – all the information will be put on our website,” she added.

To find out more information about food waste collections go to the City Council website at



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