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Mid Devon District Council has successfully completed the three weekly waste collection trial.

The trial took place between July and October 2021 and the areas included in the trial were Holcombe Rogus, Westleigh as well as the area in and around Canal Hill, Tiverton which included more than a thousand households.

Mid Devon has not introduced any significant changes to its waste and recycling collections since 2015 and has looked to neighbouring local authorities to see what has worked well.

The decision was made to trial three weekly waste collections as this has been proven to have a significant impact on improving the recycling rate as well as reducing the carbon impact waste collection has on the environment. It will also help the Council meet Government guidelines to recycle 65% of household waste by 2035 and Devon’s proposed 60% target rate by 2025.

In the financial year of 2020/21 Mid Devon District Councils recycling rate was 53.5%.

The results from the trial were discussed by members of the Council's Environment PDG at a meeting on Tuesday 11 January.

Following a decision made by the Cabinet on Tuesday 1 February, all black sack/black bin waste will be collected every three weeks as part of the Council’s drive to increase recycling and reduce waste from October 2022. All other collections remain unchanged – with food waste collected weekly and dry recycling each fortnight.

We are writing to all residents ahead of their new bin being delivered; each letter will include a leaflet detailing more about the scheme as well as commonly asked FAQs.

Data from the trial which can be found in the following report:




Holcombe Rogus – Rural sack area

Westleigh – Rural bin area

 Canal Hill area of Tiverton – Urban sack and bin area


The trial was carried out over a three month period.

Reduction in non-recyclable waste collected

Increase in recycling collected

Increase food waste collected by diverting food waste from non-recyclable waste

Reduced CO2 emissions

No, all other services will carry on at the same frequency.

The Council has considered many options with regard to the frequency of waste collections and these will be debated by our elected Members at the meeting of the Cabinet.

It is currently proposed that all households will be supplied with a wheelie bin if the scheme is approved by Cabinet, however these details will be determined once a decision has been made.


A move to a three weekly waste collection, if implemented, would require significant upfront capital investment. If future operational savings were made these monies could be reinvested back into the service in order to ensure we provide:

  • a continually updated/improved service;
  • give us the necessary capacity to cope with our growing housing numbers;
  • help us move towards the increased recycling targets (mandated by Central Government);
  • and deliver on our carbon reduction pledge.

With regard to council tax, about 20% of Mid Devon’s budget is spent running the waste collection service. Therefore, the average household is charged less than £43.00 per year to have their waste and recycling collected.

If you double wrap the products before placing in your non-recyclable waste this will reduce the smell dramatically.

A better alternative is to use real nappies which can be reused over and over again. To find out more please refer to Nappies - Recycle Devon.

If you flat pack cardboard and crush plastic bottles, cans and tins before placing in your recycling box this will significantly reduce the space taken up within the box. If you still have extra recycling you can place it within non-black bags and put them out with your recycling. If you use carrier bags for recycling please only place one material type per bag.

If you require more recycling containers you can order them via our Order a bin or box - MIDDEVON.GOV.UK webpage or by calling Customer Services on 01884 255255.

The clinical waste service will not be affected. If you require a clinical waste collection please refer to our clinical waste webpage.

In the urban bin area of the trial we reduced the amount of CO2eq by 0.85 tonnes per week and in the rural bin area we reduced the amount of CO2eq by 0.11 tonnes per week. This is a substantial contribution of the net zero commitment if rolled out.

We will still be collecting waste and recycling from the agreed assisted collection point.

Urban Sack area of the trial reduced their non-recyclable waste by 24%

Urban Bin area of the trial reduced their non-recyclable waste by 44%

Rural Sack area of the trial reduced their non-recyclable waste by 6%

Rural Bin area of the trial reduced their non-recyclable waste by 30%

In the black sack areas of the trial we achieved 61% recycling rate.

In the wheelie bin areas of the trial we achieved 68% recycling rate.

Urban sack area of the trial we saw an increase of 29% in food waste collected

Urban bin area of the trial we saw an increase of 25% in food waste collected

Rural sack area of the trial we saw an increase of 7% in food waste collected

Rural bin area of the trial we saw an increase of 15% in food waste collected

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