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Durham Household Waste Recycling Centres

H W Martin Waste Ltd manages and operates Durham’s household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) on behalf of Durham County Council. We helped increase the rate of recycling across the county’s HWRC’s and reduce reliance on landfill.

H W Martin’s Activity

The purpose of any HWRC is to provide local residents with a safe and convenient facility where they can take their unwanted items, as well as materials that are generally too large to go into their bins at home.

A HWRC is also one of the main places (as well as kerbside collections) the council provides for residents to take their recyclable materials. In fact, this is now the primary objective of an HWRC. By providing the option to recycle, or indeed to re-use, unwanted materials and items there is far less of a need to dump waste into landfill or incinerate it, which is good for everyone.

H W Martin Waste Ltd manages Durham County Council’s HWRCs in the same way it does for all such contracts – by ensuring every HWRC is clean and safe, run by helpful and knowledgeable staff, and accepts a wide range of recyclable materials. Not only that, the staff on site make sure that all waste is checked and any items that can be re-used, or materials that can be recycled, are separated. The stats below tell you how effective this is in County Durham.

Durham Household Waste Recycling Centre


From the start of the contract, H W Martin Waste Ltd improved the service on site for the public and made massive improvements to the rates of recycling and landfill diversion.

  • Over 97% of all waste deposited at the HWRCs is diverted from landfill
  • Introduced additional types of materials that can be recycled at the sites, including plastics and cooking oil
  • Partnered with the County Council in the implementation of a Permit Scheme for trade waste – eliminating misuse of the HWRCs by commercial operators
  • Continuous improvement in Customer Care at the HWRCs, including an on-going programme of customer care training for staff, and the provision of a “Meet and Greet” service
  • Put in place compaction in the HWRC bulk material containers, increasing the efficiency of storage and transport, and in turn reducing the carbon footprint of the service
  • Installed state-of-the-art CCTV for the protection of the public

Speaking on behalf of Durham County Council John Shannon, Strategic Waste Manager, reflected on a very positive start to the contract:

“We wanted a lot from this contract – bring the sites under one contractor, bring them all up-to-date in terms of facilities, safety and working practices, improve the customer experience and make real inroads into improving the recycling and landfill diversion potential at the HWRCs.”

“There have already been huge improvements to all aspects of the service. The customer experience has been transformed and H W Martin has managed to achieve that whilst diverting virtually everything away from landfill. The environmental and cost-saving benefits of this are important for everybody across County Durham.”