In 2020 WRAP carried out an options appraisal on behalf of a medium sized Waste Collection Authority in the midlands to compare the cost and performance of a range of collection scenarios in preparation for necessary changes to its household waste collection service.

Key facts

  • Recycling rate for a local authority was projected to increase by 5-10%.
  • This came from having a separating food waste collection.
  • Reducing the frequency of residual waste collections from fortnightly to every 3-4 weeks could increase recycling rates by 60%.

Due to changes in gates fees the authority was keen to explore options that keep paper and card separate from glass. Therefore, two baseline models were created and compared against the alternative collection option model.

The introduction of a separate weekly food waste collection was projected to increase the authority’s recycling rate by between 5-10%.

Options that reduced the frequency of residual collections from fortnightly to once every three, or four weeks showed that the authority’s recycling rate further increased to c60%. The impact of these options on the authority’s ‘bottom line’ costs was found to be favourable compared to the existing baseline service with current market MRF gate fees.