Photograph of rubbish being recycled by Mid-Devon Community Recycling Ltd

Recycling in Mid Devon - the beginning

About 25 years ago Ken Orchard decided to expand his recycling activities in Morchard Bishop to include a doorstep collection in Crediton. He thought that if it could show MDDC that such a service was popular they might eventually back the endeavour with funding.

Hence a rota of volunteers was formed and each Saturday morning a couple of cars drove around Crediton collecting recyclables in the car boots. I was one of those volunteers.

We collected glass, cans -  both tin and aluminium, card and paper. Once the collections were completed we drove up to Barnfield where an elderly lady extended the use of her empty garage for storage. Cans were bashed with a mallet and separated with a magnet into aluminium and tin; newspaper was parcelled up and tied with string; glass was separated into clear, green and brown.

Originally, we collected only in Crediton but gradually this extended to the surrounding villages and, much later, to Tiverton after MDDC came on board with some funding. Once there was some funding, Ken and the trustees bought a lorry and the operation moved to the large outbuilding at Tuckers Garden Centre in Crediton.

Over the years more funding followed and the business expanded, moving base to Silverton Mill.

It now seems unbelievable that from such primitive beginnings our present day recycling in Mid Devon was born, but Ken must have had a lot of faith and optimism which proved to be well founded.

A by-product of this was that myself and other women were trained to drive lorries and forklift trucks. Four of us were even paid to go to London for a makeover and to have an article written about us for 'Chat' magazine (the shame of it but they paid £100!) as we represented the first all women recycling crew that they had come across!!

 And the rest as they say  is history.