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Recycle More Trial Area Questionnaire

The following report collates findings of a consultation run in the trial areas of the Recycle More project at North Devon Council.  This consultation was run over a four week period from 09/05/2017 to 05/06/2017.  It was available on the North Devon Council’s website and paper copies were also provided to the Recycling Officers.  A total of 18 replies were received, and throughout this report they are referred to as respondents.


  1. Question one

    The chart below shows the percentage breakdown to the answers given to the question "How well informed did you feel about the changes before the trial started?"

    How well informed did you feel? (very well informed - 38.9 percent, fairly well informed - 38.9 percent, not very well informed - 22.2 percent, not informed at all - 0 percent, unsure - 0 percent)

    Of the total 18 replies received the answers were given as follows:

    • 7 answered that they felt "Very well informed" or 38.9%
    • 7 answered that they felt "Fairly well informed" or 38.9%
    • 4 answered that they felt "Not very well informed" or 22.2%
    • 0 responded with "Not informed at all"
    • 0 responded with "Unsure"

    In conclusion 78% of the respondents felt they were informed about the changes due to happen before the trial began

  2. Question two

    "If you feel anything less than very well informed, how could we have improved what we did to make you feel better informed?"

    7 respondents left comments as copied below:

    1. We are in the trial area. It was once a week then it went for a trial once a fortnight. That stayed. So three weekly will stay. Sack all of your fat cats that will save mega money. People came round two weeks ago not one came to the door. Go back to once a week
    2. I am still not sure which Monday my green bin collection will be. There seems to be no information on that except that it will be fortnightly on Mondays, but starting when? It seems that we will have a recycling collection under the new arrangements on Monday 5th June, but under the existing arrangement we will have a recycling collection on Saturday 3rd June (one day late because of the bank holiday). Is this correct? I cannot find a full timetable of collections for the months ahead on your website, only a page which tells me when my next collections will be
    3. More information via post. To hear direct rather than through social media or internet
    4. I have given feedback already on your website as to how difficult it was to find the page where I could sign up for the garden waste collection. Also, I would have appreciated some information as to when to expect delivery of the kerbside caddy. I have requested one on your website but don't know whether or not it is already scheduled
    5. You could have asked us if we wanted to take part in the trial before you decided how it was going to be done
    6. Use of bags (sold out in most places) to line the caddy - I had no idea about this until recently
    7. Personal letters to householder,public consultation meetings (more than one at an inopportune timing for those of us that work!), A proper calendar for collections we are totally confused on dates,what happens when we missed waste collections ie. when on holiday,where do I store everything to deter rats and vermin???


  3. Question three

    "How many people live in your household?"

    The possible answers were as follows:

    • Less than four
    • Four
    • Five
    • More than five

    The following chart shows the percentage break down of answers given.

    How many people live in your household (less than four - 83.3 percent, four - 11.1 percent, five - 0 percent, more than five - 5.6 percent)
    • 15 households had less than four members
    • 2 households had four members
    • 0 household had five members
    • 1 household had more than five members


  4. Question four

    "What do you currently recycle?"

    There were 8 different categories given of items that could be recycled, which were:

    1. Plastic
    2. Glass
    3. Metals
    4. Small Electrical
    5. Paper
    6. Cardboard
    7. Material/Textiles
    8. Food

    All the respondents recycled in all areas listed.


  5. Question five.

    In response to "How often do you put out your recycling?" the following answers were given:

    • 15 replied weekly
    • 2 replied fortnightly


  6. Question six.

    "Do you have any issues storing your waste and recycling?" Yes/no answers were available. Four respondents replied yes and their comments describing the issues they would have are copied as follows:

    1. Nowhere seems hygienic to store and the house is rather small so no location to fit these things really. And keeping these outside seems like a bad idea with the rain or wind. But we make do, just could really do with coming up with a better system.. or lidded boxes for all recycling to be store outside instead maybe?
    2. I have to keep my waste for 2 weeks because the council do not provide the original weekly collection, this will now be extended to 3 weeks due to the "trial"
    3. Just the pure number of them. We don't put out food "waste", as it goes in our compost bins or is fed to the birds. We don't tend to buy any food that we are not going to consume. We also make use of the recycling depot in Barnstaple whenever needed
    4. We have had to buy additional storage for our recycling and household rubbish to deter rats (which we have had due to stream at back of property) my council tax will not be reduced or incentives to take part in trial being marketed as new weekly food waste collection it is already collected weekly?!) Why was I given another food caddy bin I have one which we use more cost to council tax payer and most are blowing around in area as people don't want to use them


  7. Question seven

    "Do you have a black wheelie bin or do you put out black bags?".

    There were three parts to this question. The following replies were given to the main question above:

    • 17 used a wheelie bin
    • 1 used black bags

    If the respondent used a wheelie bin they were then asked about how full the bin generally was when left out on collection day. The possible answers with number of replies were:

    • So full, I have to put extra bags out beside my bin = 2
    • Full to the top, but I don’t put extra bags to the side = 7
    • Three quarters full = 7
    • Half full = 0
    • Less than half full = 1

    How full is your Wheelie bin (so full extra bags are left out - 11.8 percent, full to the top no extra bags left out - 41.2 percent, three quarters full - 41.2 percent, half full - 0 percent, less than half full - 5.8 percent)

    The two who replied that they were 'so full they had to put extra bags out' were then asked how many bags extra they had to put out beside their wheelie bin. Neither of the respondents gave an answer to this

  8. Question eight

    "Do you currently throw away disposable nappies or incontinence pads as part of your rubbish?"

    Yes/no answers were available and the responses were as follows:

    • 15 replied no
    • 3 replied yes

    Of the three respondents answering yes to question eight, above, two had answered question seven as find their black bin full to the top but not needing to put out extra bags. The third respondent answered that their black bin was usually three quarters full

  9. Question nine

    "Do you live in a block of flats or a shared house?"

    None of the respondents lived in this type of accommodation

  10. Question ten

    "Would you have a problem storing the new kerbside caddy for food waste? (it’s about the size of a small pedal bin)?"

    The available answers were yes/no, and the respondents replied in the following ways:

    • 13 replied no they wouldn’t have an issue with storage
    • 5 replied yes they would have issues with storage


  11. Question eleven

    "How do you currently get rid of your food waste?"

    There were four possible answers to this question and the respondents were asked to "tick all that apply" responses were as follows:

    1. As single option answers:
      • Black Bin alone = 5
      • Black Bags =1
      • Own compost heap alone = 1
      • Green wheelie bin alone = 6
    2. The following combinations of disposal were given:
      • Black bin and own compost heap = 2
      • Green bin and own compost heap = 1
      • Black bin and Green bin = 2

    A second part of question eleven asked if the weekly food caddy collection would create more space in the black wheelie bin or fewer black bags put out (if no black wheelie bin). The answers were as follows:

    • No more space would be created or no fewer bags put out = 15
    • Yes it would create more space = 3

    So the majority of respondents are saying they are likely to still be creating the same amount of waste that will go in their black wheelie bin

At the end of the questionnaire the opportunity to request more containers was raised. The following requests were made:

  • More green bags = 3
  • More brown bags = 2

Three of the respondents requested a Recycling Advisor talk to them. Two requests were for information about smells/odours and one wanted to discuss the issue of nappies.

Collated by A. Dunbrook, 07/06/2017.