Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the new recycling service, coming to the South Hams in Spring 2021.


When will my new containers arrive?

The new service will be rolled out throughout spring 2021, a collection round at a time. We will deliver your new containers to you the week before you move to the new service. This means you can start using your containers as soon as you receive them and one of our new recycling vehicles will begin collecting from your property on your next collection day.

Please continue to use the existing blue and clear sack service until you receive the new containers.


Can I track the delivery of my new containers?

The new service will be rolled out throughout spring 2021, a collection round at a time. We will deliver your new containers to you the week before you move to the new service. This means you can start using your containers as soon as you receive them and one of our new recycling vehicles will begin collecting from your property on your next collection day.

Please continue to use the existing blue and clear sack service until you receive the new containers.


How big are the new containers?

  • Recycling boxes: 55L capacity, 390mm x 585mm x 350mm (width x depth x height)
  • Recycling sack: 70L capacity, 400mm x 400mm x 450mm (width x depth x height)
  • Food caddy (outdoor): 23L capacity, 320mm x 400mm x 405mm (width x depth x height)
  • Food caddy (indoor): 7L capacity, 252mm x 229mm x 234 mm (width x depth x height)

When my containers arrived I already had a week's worth of recycling in my clear and blue sacks - can I put these out for collection?

Once you receive your new containers, your collection the following week will be made by one of our new recycling vehicles. These vehicles have several compartments, each for a different type of recycling. These vehicles are not equipped to collect recycling in the clear and blue sacks.

If you have been using the blue and clear sacks the week you receive your new containers please sort this recycling into your new containers.


Can I request additional containers?

Please try the new containers out for a few weeks to see how much recycling you produce in a week.

If you only produce extra recycling on odd occasions you can put additional recycling out in any suitable sturdy container as a one off.

Please continue to sort your recycling as instructed.


I don't have space for all these new containers - what can I do?

Properties with no or very little outdoor storage can use just one recycling box in addition to the white sack and food caddy. You can alternate between box 1 and box 2 items each week and the sack can be folded away when not in use.

Recycling as much as possible weekly should reduce the space required to store your refuse sacks.


I have a clinical or sharps collection; will this be affected?

No, your collection day and container/sack will not change.


I have an assisted collection; will this be affected?

Your waste and recycling will still be collected from your agreed location on your existing collection day. If you wish to change your assisted collection point to accommodate the new containers, please use this form.

Request or Change an Assisted Collection

We will need to do an assessment of the new location so this can take a few weeks.


Will my collection day change?

No, you should still put your recycling out on the same day, by 7 a.m., but you can put your recycling and food waste out for collection every week once you have received the new containers.


What should I do with my leftover blue and clear sacks?

Once you receive your new containers, you will no longer need to use the blue and clear sacks and we cannot collect any recycling put out in these sacks. You do not need to return any leftover sacks and we encourage you to use them for other purposes, such as storage in your loft or garage.


I use a communal bin store, will we get new containers too?

Yes, we have looked at communal bin storage areas to ensure we allocate the appropriate number of containers. The containers delivered will be shared in the same way the existing refuse bins are.

You may find the way you are asked to sort recycling is different to the information in the leaflet but we plan to provide signage to help make it clear.


I only use my brown bin for food waste; can you take it away?

Please hold on to your brown bin for now. Once we have finished the rollout of the new service we will look at arranging removal for those that no longer need them.


My recycling is collected from a shared collection point away from my property; will this change?

You will still need to put your recycling in the same place to get it collected. Please mark the containers with your house name or number to make them easier to recover after collection.

Where possible, we will deliver the new containers to your property instead of leaving at the collection point.


Can I use compostable liners in my food caddy?

Yes, if you have some to use up though there is no need to buy more. We recommend lining your caddy with any bag, this could be a cereal, bread, salad or carrier bag, or alternatively use newspaper or kitchen roll.

The food is sent for processing at an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility which breaks down the food into soil conditioner and uses the gas (methane) released from the process to generate electricity. When the food is delivered it first goes through a de-packaging unit which removes any liners, including compostable ones.

The compostable bags are difficult to remove as they break easily and have been found to not break down enough in the AD process. This impacts the quality of the soil conditioner.


Why does cardboard have to be less than 75cm long?

The new vehicles have a compartment for each material so they can be kept separate. The compartment for cardboard is accessed through an opening which is 75cm. Please fold or break down your cardboard so that it is less than 75cm.

If you have large amounts of cardboard or a piece you can't break down please take it to your local recycling centre.


Why should I clean my recycling?

Cleaning your plastics, foil, tins/cans and glass in your leftover dishwater have a number of benefits. It helps keep your recycling containers clean and odour free and also helps improve the quality of the recycling.

Quality of recycling is so important when making it into something new and means the resulting products are high quality too.


How can I keep my paper and glass separate in Box 1; will you provide dividers?

You will not receive dividers for the boxes but we ask that you try to keep paper to one side and glass to the other. This is primarily to aid the process of loading the items into the vehicle. As the crews have to wear gloves it makes it difficult to separate items from one another.

Sorting and separating your recycling helps the crew collect quicker and reduce the time that the vehicle may have to obstruct the road.


Won't the reusable sack blow away?

The reusable sack is fitted with a weighted base. However, if it is particularly windy you can carefully weigh it down with a stone or brick. We would also recommend positioning the sack between your wheelie bin and your food caddy or recycling boxes as these are heavier.

The crews are instructed to put the sack within the boxes after collection to prevent the sacks from blowing away after collection.