recycling in exeter

Recycling In Exeter: The Cities Plan To Boost Sustainability

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Exeter Recycling Key Statistics:

  • Devon’s overall rate was 55.1% in the last financial year 2021/22.
  • Exeter is looking to become one of the 1st councils in the country to allow residents to recycle coffee pods as part of the kerbside collections.
  • Since September 2014, Exeter University have sent all of their general waste to a waste to energy plant rather than landfill sites.

How Does Recycling in Exeter Work?

Exeter City Council provides a waste management program to the city’s residents, which includes recycling services. The program collects plastic food containers, glass bottles and jars, garden waste, newspapers and magazines, shredded paper, and plastic bottles. However, the council reminds residents to ensure that these items are clean and dry before placing them in the recycling bin.

Food Waste Disposal

The council has also made an effort to reduce waste by implementing a food waste collection service. The service collects food waste and sends it to a composting facility to produce fertiliser for local farms. This initiative helps reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill and promotes sustainable agriculture.

Where Does Recycling In Exeter Go?

Recyclable materials collected from the kerbside and recycling points are taken to the council’s site in Exton Road for sorting before being sold to reprocessors across the UK. 

Some companies will export the materials onto the world market and others will sell in to UK manufacturers.

The History of Recycling in Exeter

The Council published its first Recycling Plan in 1992, and this has been regularly updated to account for changes in legislation, and for changes in the locality. Since then, recycling collections are prominent for all households, along with various recycling facilities open.

Recycling at The University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is also committed to sustainability and has implemented several recycling initiatives on campus. The university encourages students and staff to recycle by providing recycling bins throughout the campus. These bins are for plastic bottles, glass, cans, and paper.

The university also has a dedicated team responsible for waste management and recycling. Facilities operations manage the waste produced by the university, ensuring that it is disposed of safely and sustainably. The team also provides information and resources to help students and staff recycle effectively. They ask individuals to contact the campus services helpdesk if they require assistance with waste management or recycling.

Recycling Programs To Reduce Waste

In addition to recycling, the university also has programs to reduce waste. The university encourages students and staff to bring their reusable water bottles and coffee cups, reducing the need for disposable cups and bottles. The university also has water refill stations across the campus, making it easy for individuals to refill their water bottles.

The University of Exeter also promotes sustainability by reducing the use of single-use plastics. The university has removed a large amount of plastic straws, cutlery, and cups from all of its catering outlets, replacing them with more sustainable alternatives. Since September 2014, they have sent all of their general waste to a waste to energy plant rather than landfill.

Sustainable Initiatives In Exeter To Increase Recycling


Exeter City Council and Exeter City Football Club were presented with a Green Can Award for their innovative recycling initiative, Cans 4 City. This programme encourages fans to recycle their drink cans whilst raising money for local charities. Since 2020, the initiative has collected and recycled approximately 7 tonnes of aluminium packaging and raised more than £6,000 for projects. In 2019, Cans 4 City partnered with Exeter City Council, which now operates more than 20 aluminium recycling points throughout Exeter and Devon.


cans4city exeter

Kerbside Coffee Pod Recycling

Working with Podback, Exeter City Council is looking to become one of the 1st councils in the country to allow residents to recycle coffee pods as part of its kerbside recycling collections. This exciting news will encourage households to gather their plastic and aluminium coffee pods to be placed with their domestic collection for recycling. The process for bringing this in across the city is set to be funded by Nestle and Jacobs Douwe Egberts.

How To Recycle More As A Business In Exeter 

In Exeter, businesses have ample opportunities to step up their recycling efforts, especially when it comes to plastics. To begin, companies should conduct an internal audit of their waste to identify the volume and type of plastic they produce. 

Once identified, businesses can segregate plastics effectively, making it easier for recycling companies to process. It’s crucial to educate employees about the importance of recycling and implement designated bins for plastic waste. 

Exeter waste services, including our own, offer bulk collection of plastic from businesses, ensuring that they are processed in an environmentally friendly manner. By engaging in such practices, businesses in Exeter can contribute to a sustainable future and foster a greener community.

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