Government

Dorset recycling six per cent more under new service

New figures released by the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) have shown that since the new, standardised collection service, Recycle for Dorset, was launched, the area’s recycling rate has increased by six per cent.

Recycle for Dorset service details

The Recycle for Dorset service, which aims to increase Dorset’s recycling to 68 per cent and save the DWP £2 million a year, was launched in 2012 to streamline the area's 12 different recycling systems into one, fortnightly service.

Under the scheme, residents can recycle: plastic pots, tubs and trays, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard, tins, and cans and aerosols using a 240-litre wheelie bin; and glass bottles and jars using a green box.

The service also includes a weekly food waste, alongside an opt-in fortnightly garden waste collection (using a 240-litre wheelie bin for £40 a year, or a 120-litre reusable bag for £25 a year). Residual waste is collected every other week.

Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and parts of West Dorset are already using the service, with another 50,000 properties in Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset switching to the scheme in October, followed by the rest of West Dorset next year.

Dorset recycling figures

According to DWP’s latest figures, Dorset recycled over 54 per cent of its waste from kerbside collections and recycling centres in 2013/14, up from 49 per cent in 2012/13.

Indeed, more than 60 per cent of the waste collected in Christchurch, East Dorset and North Dorset has been recycled since the Recycle for Dorset service was introduced in October 2012 and June 2013.

Further, since the service was rolled out to Purbeck residents in March, that area’s rate increased to 56 per cent, more than twice the district’s rate of 27 per cent in March 2013.

Other figures collected by the DWP for 2013/14 show that, compared to 2012/13:

  • residual waste arisings dropped by 18 per cent;
  • the amount of recycling collected at the kerbside increased by 32 per cent on the year before, with 26 per cent less recycling taken to bring banks;
  • three times more garden waste was collected for composting;
  • in Christchurch, the first full district to adopt the service, the recycling rate has dramatically increased since the introduction of the new service (61 per cent in 2013/14 compared with 45 per cent in 2012/13);
  • the total amount of waste sent to landfill was 23 per cent, down from 26 per cent in 2012/13; and
  • just under a fifth (18 per cent) of Dorset’s waste was sent for mechanical biological treatment or energy from waste.

The figures come just a month after a DWP survey found that of the 5,000 residents using the new service, 85 per cent said they recycled more and 74 per cent said it was an improvement on their previous service.  

‘Helping us become one of the best areas for recycling in the country’

Speaking of the figures, Steve Burdis, Director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, said: “Thanks to residents enthusiastically using their new collection service to do their bit, Dorset is recycling more then ever.

“This means we are keeping more waste out of expensive landfill sites and recovering value from useful resources rather than burying them in the ground.

“Recycling is a way of life in Dorset.  These figures suggest that having one, easy-to-use service can help us become one of the best areas for recycling in the country.”

Despite Dorset's increase in recycling, the latest waste and recycling figures released by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) show that recycling rates are falling, with English councils recycling 0.5 per cent less material between July and September 2013 than in the same period the year before, due to a dramatic decrease in the amount of green waste sent for recycling.

Find out more about Recycle for Dorset service.