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Dorset councils share waste windfall

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Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) is to hand a £1.72m underspend back to its member councils, LGC’s sister title Materials Recycling World reports.

DWP hit problems in overspending in 2015, which led to the dismissal of its director Steve Burdis after councils found it faced a £2.8m deficit for the 2014-15 financial year.

In March 2015, a report prepared by the technical consultancy WYG found there had been “precious little evidence of robust processes to manage finances within the business”.

But DWP said it had now amassed the underspend for 2017-18 through a combination of better than expected waste disposal tonnages and haulage costs and favourable recyclate disposal prices.

A report to the partnership noted though that those factors “has already changed to an adverse position”. 

DWP had a £33.1m revenue budget for 2017-18. The report proposed that £1.37m should be returned to councils according to the formula by which they share DWP’s costs, £75,000 carry forward to pay for contract advice and the remainder used to top up reserves.

How the overspend will be shared out
CouncilPayout
Dorset CC £882,470
Weymouth & Portland BC £100,228
West Dorset DC £123,408
East Dorset DC £81,406
North Dorset DC £74,074
Purbeck DC £55,853
Christchurch BC £54,561

The report warned the situation in China might affect the favourable trends seen this year.

“Whilst there is no definitive view on how the recyclate price will behave in the short to medium term, there is pessimism due to the effect that the Chinese recyclate import changes are having on the wider international market,” it said.

It said that there were limited alternative outlets for waste exports if China strictly enforced restrictions on mixed plastic and mixed paper reprocessing.

”…this will put pressure on the remaining re-processors who will be at capacity leaving a glut of these materials in the short term. This glut will force down the commodity value which in turn will increase any fee or reduce any rebate for the DWP.”

DWP’s future is unclear as local government in Dorset is due to be reorganised in 2019 with the present councils being abolished and replaced by one unitary covering Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and another the remainder of the county.

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