In a first of its kind agreement, all the local authority executives of Somerset voted to combine management and waste services under a single Somerset Waste Board. Councils will delegate waste functions to the Board, which will manage recycling and waste collection for the 228,000 homes across the county. It aims to increase recycling levels to 50% and beyond, and to reduce waste being sent to landfill. The centrally run Somerset Waste Board will replace Somersets 10 previous waste and recycling contracts, and the county council will provide support services as the administering authority. Benefits of the partnership will include a pooled budget and cost sharing agreement. An inter-authority agreement will regulate the financial and contractual arrangements. Help from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs included funding for legal and technical support. As a precursor to the Board, the Somerset Waste Partnership has been working to improve waste management across the county since 1992. Partnership chairman Nigel Woollcombe-Adams said: The formation of this Board is the culmination of 15 years of partnership working across the county and we are proud to be leading the way in waste services nationally.