Energy & Recycling

Published: March 6, 2020 | Updated: March 6, 2020

It’s good to be green: Dorset Council awards Eco initial seven year £14m recycling contract

Cllr Anthony Alford (left), of Dorset Council, with Peter Hardy, Eco’s Commercial Director, at the company’s Piddlehinton anaerobic digestion facility.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset success story Eco Sustainable Solutions has been awarded a £14m recycling contract.

The Parley-based owner and operator of one of the UK’s leading purpose-built sites for organics recycling and renewable energy generation has secured the initial seven year contract with Dorset Council after a tender process.

It means Eco will continue composting and treating Dorset’s annual 15,000 tonnes of food waste, 35,000 tonnes of green waste and 8,000 tonnes of wood waste, plus 3,500 tonnes of the council’s street sweepings.

The company has held the contract with Dorset Waste Partnership – now an executive function of Dorset Council – to handle the county’s food, wood and green waste since 2008.

Eco will provide Dorset-based facilities to manage the waste, helping Dorset Council to maintain its recycling rates and carbon reduction ambitions.

The food waste is taken to Eco’s anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Piddlehinton where it is processed to produce digestate, a nitrogen-rich agricultural fertilizer, and methane, which generates energy to feed into the national grid.

The green waste, wood waste, and street sweepings are treated at the company’s Parley site to produce renewable energy and sustainable landscaping products.

During a visit to Eco’s Piddlehinton AD plant, Cllr Anthony Alford, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Our Recycle for Dorset service has seen kerbside recycling increase dramatically, from 29 per cent in 2011 to just shy of 60 per cent in 2018/19.

“The recycling of organic materials – food, green and wood waste, – is key to this success and Eco Sustainable Solutions will continue to be an important partner in helping Dorset Council deliver its waste strategy in this new decade.”

Peter Hardy, Eco’s Commercial Director, said he was delighted that Dorset Council had opted to continue dealing with its waste locally.

He added: “It makes commercial and environmental sense for local authorities to recycle their citizens’ waste as close to home as possible.

“We are proud to be able to offer Dorset Council the full range of recycling facilities, creating energy from waste and a range of quality, sustainable products for the landscaping and construction sectors.”

Eco was founded in 1993 by entrepreneur Trelawney Dampney, who started taking in landscapers’ green waste for composting at the company’s Parley site.

Twenty seven years later, the highly successful, family-owned and operated, business boasts a turnover of around £20m.

Composting and materials (soils and aggregates) recycling has expanded into AD food waste processing for energy production, the construction of a CHP (Combined Heat and Power) biomass facility fuelled by waste timber generating electricity for the recycling plant and grid, and a 380 acre solar development.

The company’s sites at Parley and Piddlehinton employ 50 people.