RESIDENTS have helped increase Dorset’s recycling rate by six per cent since a new collection service was launched.

And households in East Dorset have upped their game by a whopping 18 per cent, with 63 per cent of its waste collected at the kerb being recycled, compared to 45 per cent in 2012/13.

The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) says the county recycled 54 per cent of its waste from kerbside collections and recycling centres in 2013/14, up from 49 per cent in 2012/13. 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.

The service is now used by two thirds of Dorset households, having started in Purbeck and part of West Dorset in March.

The Recycle for Dorset service is being rolled out across Dorset's six districts and boroughs, aiming to increase the recycling rate to 68 per cent and drive down costs by £2m a year.

The service means residents can now have food waste collected weekly and recycle a wider range of materials, including plastic pots and tubs. About 30,000 households have also paid for an optional, fortnightly garden waste collection. Another 50,000 properties in Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset will switch to the scheme in October, followed by the rest of West Dorset next year.

The total amount of Dorset’s waste sent to landfill last year was 23 per cent, down from 26 per cent in 2012/13. In addition, 18 per cent of Dorset’s waste was sent for either mechanical biological treatment, where further recycling is extracted, or to produce electricity.

Councils pay £80 in tax for every tonne of waste sent to landfill. Including gate fees, it costs £1,060 for a dustcart to dump 10 tonnes of rubbish in landfill, compared to an income of £127 for the same amount of recycling.

For more information about the Recycle for Dorset service, go to fordorset.