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Learning About Recycling

Dorset Council Waste Management

We were delighted to welcome Marten Gregory, recycling Team Leader from the Commercial Waste and Strategy Team at Dorset Council, to our first get-together of 2021.

Marten presented a detailed overview of Dorset’s waste operation, explaining how many people work for the team, what it costs to manage the waste created by Dorset’s 176,000 households and how much is able to be recycled every year.

It was a fascinating insight into how much effort goes into trying to ensure that as little rubbish as possible goes into landfill. Volumes that do end up in landfill have reduced by around 90% over the past twenty years.

Dorset is very proud to have its own food waste recycling facility, near Dorchester in the Piddle Valley. Here the food waste collected undergoes a process that generates power for houses in the area. It also has its ‘We Need That’ directory, which shows which commonly thrown away items can be used by not-for-profit organisations and individuals.

Other recycling goes further afield, such as to Hampshire where Energy from Waste plants can convert it into energy and as far afield as North Wales and Tilbury, where bespoke facilities have been set up to process it safely.

There were several questions for Marten after his presentation, including whether there were plans to expand the recycling scheme to items that can’t currently be recycled and whether postcode tracking could be introduced to inject an element of competition into improved recycling in the county.

More information can be obtained from Dorset Council’s Waste Team. On behalf of Swanage Rotary, President Deirdre thanked Martin for taking time out of his busy day to speak to us.