Cheshire West and Chester Council is the fourth largest unitary authority in the North West with 154,500 households. Established in 2009, it brought together the three boroughs of Ellesmere Port and Neston, Vale Royal and the City of Chester and assumed the responsibilities of the former Cheshire County Council for those authorities.


Following a competitive dialogue procurement process May Gurney (who subsequently became Keir) were selected to deliver a 14-year contract starting April 2012. A new consistent service was rolled out in three phases, completed by October 2012.

The range of dry recyclables collected was extended and collected via kerbside sort (multi-stream). In addition, all households receive a weekly food waste collection, a free fortnightly garden waste collection and fortnightly residual waste collection.

Benefits have included:

  • an increase in recycling to 57.67% in 2015/16, with an expectation to reach 62% through guaranteed levels of recycling performance which Kier are striving to achieve; improvements in material quality;
  • and expected savings of more than £50M over the life of the contract.

In terms of advice for others, an up-to-date database of properties, including what services they should be receiving and any variations or exceptions, is considered crucial. In addition, whether outsourced or in-house, the performance management framework for the service needs to be sound with clear KPIs that leave little or no room for dispute.

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  • Consistency in recycling collections in Cheshire and West Chester case study

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