Examining Greater Consistency in Household Recycling

Resource Futures was commissioned by WRAP (supported by Resource London) to complete kerbside options appraisals for five London boroughs. The project considered the business case of introducing services in-line with WRAP’s Framework for Greater Consistency in Household Recycling in England within each of the boroughs.


Resource Futures was commissioned to:

  • Model the costs and performance implications of collecting a consistent set of recyclables and food waste via a range of service profiles (multi-stream, twin stream and single stream co-mingled collections of dry recyclables with weekly collections of food waste) from all kerbside properties
  • Model the cost and performance implications of collecting the same consistent suite of materials from all flatted properties
  • Assess the likely implications for material quality, customer satisfaction and legal compliance of each of the modelled options

Review what local capacity there is for processing recyclates and food waste.


Resource Futures completed a detailed data gathering exercise to replicate current operations and costs for the service (the ‘Baseline’ scenario). All operational modelling for kerbside properties utilised WRAP’s Kerbside Analysis Tool (KAT) which allows current collections to be reviewed and collection changes to be forecast.

The process of calculating costs for each scenario was undertaken following the identification of performance and quantification of resources required to deliver the modelled options. Resource Futures’ utilised their bespoke financial model to calculate all operational and capital costs.

The approach included a high-level infrastructure review which was carried out to investigate whether there was sufficient capacity to deal with the materials that would be collected across all five boroughs for each scenario being considered in this project.


When the modelling results were examined individually for each of the boroughs, variations in the outcome were identified. Factors such as proximity to infrastructure and existing contracts were important considerations in the identification of a preferred option. A summary of the results was included in WRAP’s report, ‘Greater consistency in household recycling: summary of local authority business cases’, to evaluate the local business case for adopting the consistency Framework in six groups of local authorities.

Project Information

Services involved

Waste Strategy

Team involved

Sam Reeve