Food waste recycling in North Devon has increased by tenfold under the new service.

Following the reorganisation of North Devon Council’s waste and recycling service, Councillor Rodney Cann says the amount of food waste collected has gone up from six tonnes to 60 per week.

He also said results from three weekly collection trial service being run in some areas for black bin waste were looking promising.

It follows the revamp of the council’s service which now sees food waste collected from new kerbside caddies alongside the weekly recycling boxes and bags.

Prior to that the council was only picking up some five to six tonnes of food via the twice weekly green bin system.

Mr Cann said: “I think we are absolutely staggered at the amount of food waste which is coming in and the good news is it’s being diverted from the black bin waste and not going to landfill.

“Eventually the waste will go to a bio-digester and be used to create energy. At the moment it is being composted but we are waiting on the county council to direct us further.

“When we set out with the reorganisation we had a target to achieve in excess of 50 per cent recycling and we are amazed by the success of it.”

When the new service was launched last June it came under fire, with many households fuming at missed collections.

Mr Cann said: “We have certainly had some problems because it was such a major change in the system but we have now settled down – and it needs to be remembered that we actually provide a service to around 46,000 properties twice a week, it’s a mammoth task.

“We have run the three weekly service for some months now and it has shown a significant increase in recycling – we are now carrying out a customer survey but the signs are, by and large, it’s been very successful.”

The trial has been running in Forches and Whiddon Valley; Landkey; Bratton Fleming; Arlington; Shirwell; Goodleigh; Stoke Rivers; Chelfham; Challacombe; and part of Brayford.

The results are expected to be released this summer.