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NRAs 2016 - Local Authority Innovation

Winner: Dorset Waste Partnership

The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) brought together seven councils to deliver the ‘Recycle for Dorset’ kerbside service.

The scheme uses an innovative ‘tri-stream’ method of collecting commingled recyclables, separate glass and food waste in a bespoke, single-pass collection vehicle. The approach has been tailored in restricted access areas using different vehicle configurations, while ensuring as much as possible that a consistent level of service is delivered to everyone.

The county council acts as the host authority of the DWP, employing staff and providing support services such as HR, finance, procurement, IT, communications and customer services.

Under a single management team, the DWP has created a unified workforce of more than 350 to deliver waste, recycling and street cleansing services on its partners’ behalf – the first waste partnership to deliver services in-house on this scale.

The ‘Recycle for Dorset’ service replaced 12 earlier schemes across Dorset with a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and the entire county now uses the same service. Even communal properties are offered the scheme in full.

A partnership that unified seven councils, working across political and geographic boundaries. its unique costsharing model delivered over £1m of savings per year over the last three years

Judges’ view

The service includes collections of food, garden waste and plastic pots, tubs and trays. Residual waste bins are 140 litres in size to encourage further recycling.

A key element of the partnership is its cost-sharing approach. The partnership is aiming to drive down costs through joint procurement, sharing depots, vehicles and staff and cross-boundary collections.

It also generates income through a popular charged-for garden waste collection and competitive commercial waste services.

Implementation took three years and was completed in October 2015 to cover 200,000 households. It was a challenging timetable and executed with little additional resource.

Overall, kerbside recycling has increased from 29% to 52% since the scheme introduced. Residual waste collection decreased from 71% to 48%. A survey revealed that 90% of residents are satisfied/very satisfied with the service.


  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • East Ayrshire Council
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • Tower Hamlets Council in partnership with Veolia
  • Woking Borough Council

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