A new waste and recycling contract will save cash strapped Wealden District Council £750,000 a year.
The contract was also signed by representatives of Eastbourne Borough, Hastings Borough, and Rother District on December 5.
The contract is part of a multi-council agreement to save the four authorities around £30million over the next decade.
It marks the official start of a £12 million per year contract won by Kier Environmental Services through a competitive tendering process. The contract has an optional ten year extension.
As well as providing savings, the contract will offer residents a better level of service, with people in the partnership area being able to recycle more types of waste more easily than ever before, say council officials.
Residents in Wealden will be among the first to benefit when the new service, which starts in the district in April next year.
The move is a huge example of joint work between the authorities, as councils continue to find savings which have led to large reductions in their government grant settlements.
East Sussex County Council also worked as part of the partnership.
The project is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, serving up to 200,000 residents across 550 square miles.
Cllr Gill Mattock, chairman of the joint waste committee, said: “This is a fantastic success story and a terrific testament to the benefits of joint working. The signing of the Joint Waste Contract will prompt other councils up and down the UK to look more closely at opportunities to work in partnership with neighbouring authorities, particularly in the area of waste collections and recycling. I am very proud that Eastbourne, Hastings, Rother and Wealden are at the forefront of this new approach.”
Cllr Bob Standley, Wealden District Council Leader, said: “In addition to the enhanced service by working together with our neighbours, we are saving over £750.000 each year for Wealden taxpayers.
“The County Council has worked hard with the four partner authorities to introduce these improved services and ensure that substantial savings to the tax payers of East Sussex will be realised. This contract will provide a huge boost to the recycling rate of the county, making the way we manage waste even more sustainable.”
Nicola Peake, managing director of Kier’s environmental business, said: “These are exciting times in East Sussex and we are delighted to have been entrusted by the joint waste partnership to deliver vital frontline services to the councils. A desire to leave a lasting legacy of environmental and social sustainability will be central to our approach.”