Thousands of copies of a council magazine were accidentally sent straight for recycling instead of being sent to homes.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council launched an investigation after 6,000 to 9,000 copies of BCP News were thrown away.
The authority said it was the result of a misunderstanding between subcontractors.
Opposition councillors described the mistake as a “bit of a debacle”.
Conservative councillor Philip Broadhead said: “You could maybe understand if a couple of hundred had not been delivered but not this many.
“There’s a perfectly reasonable argument for having a magazine and letting people know what the council is up to but that goes out the window if you are sending it straight for recycling.”
The quarterly residents’ magazine is printed and distributed on a no-cost basis by CIS Press, which only takes advertising income, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
A council spokesman said: “We are now satisfied that this is an isolated incident as a result of a misunderstanding between subcontractors, which led to between 6,000 and 9,000 copies of BCP News from a print run of 183,000 being recycled, instead of being delivered to homes.”