CHESHIRE County Council has signed over the operation and management of the county's household waste recycling centres.
Derbyshire-based company HW Martin Waste Ltd assumed responsibility for the 16 Cheshire sites last month.
The 10-year contract also requires the firm to improve the recycling and waste management performance of the sites.
Among the improvements are an increase in recycling and composting rates of green waste as well as a reduction in the levels of residual waste that is currently sent to landfill.
Cheshire County Council's environment executive member, Anthony Needham, welcomed the signing of the contract.
He said: “This is an important contract which offers a valuable opportunity to improve recycling rates in the country.
“We are confident that the bid received from HW Martin represents value for money for Cheshire taxpayers.”
To achieve the requirements of the contract, HW Martin plans to collect new materials in a bid to boost recycling.
The company is introducing chipboard recycling and it also proposes to add the recycling of cooking oil, kitchen foil and hard plastics in the future.
Cheshire County Council recycled 17.93% of its household waste in 2006/07, while it achieved a composting rate of 18.29% over the same period.