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News from Somerset Waste Partnership

13th October 2019 @ 2:02pm
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Somerset Waste Partnership October Newsletter has some excditing news about recycling including an update on the roll out of Recycle More, Garden Waste charges and more

With far more recycling each week and three-weekly rubbish collections, Recycle More is rolling out to you, starting with 51,000 households in Mendip. Plus scroll down for:

Garden waste collections could be getting cheaper.
Entry fees at two community recycling sites are ending.
Van and trailer permit scheme continues unchanged.
Winter hours have started at all recycling sites.
There are new efforts to reduce delayed collections.
And, as we prepare to switch from landfill to energy-from-waste, have you spotted recycling sites' trial twin skips?

Phased roll-out for Recycle More

Recycle More's expanded kerbside collections will begin rolling out in June 2020, starting in Mendip.

Recycle More will be introduced in phases across Somerset, with the full timing released later this year. Every home in Somerset will be sent full details of the new service and their starting date well ahead of time.

Phasing is essential to undertake £7m of work to five depots, deliver the new service in manageable chunks, and support residents to make the most of the additional weekly recycling.

Recycle More will add a wide range of extra materials to weekly recycling collections: household and food plastic pots, tubs and trays, Tetra Paks and other beverage cartons, small electrical items and household batteries.

SWP's successful large-scale long-term trials in Somerset show that recycling these extra materials each week leaves far more space in rubbish bins, so these will be collected every three weeks. We have learned lots from other areas that made these changes with few problems and saw a swift rise in recycling levels.

The simplicity and effectiveness of Recycle More proved so popular among those in the trials that they gave it an 86% approval rating. As Recycle More helps recycling rates jump and rubbish tonnages fall, SWP will offer extra support to tackle any initial difficulties.

SWP Managing Director Mickey Green said: "With millions of plastic pots, tubs and trays being taken to our 16 recycling sites, we know that public appetite to recycle more is strong. And there will be advice and help for anyone worried about these changes."

Garden waste collection costs may fall

SWP has proposed that the cost of garden waste collections be reduced, thanks to its great-value deal with the new collections contractor SUEZ. Somerset Waste Board has decided that from next April – subject to final decision making by our district council partners – the cost of a year's fortnightly garden waste collections will fall to £55.50 from its present £56.90, reflecting reduced costs. The option of garden waste sacks may also fall from £28.40 for 10 sacks to £27.50 next April.

Charging about £1 a week ensures full cost recovery, on the "polluter pays" principle with no subsidy by those who take garden waste to recycling sites, compost it at home, or have no garden.

Changes to other charges

Charges for bin delivery costs are being removed, as are entrance fees for the community recycling sites at Crewkerne and Dulverton from April 2020. The cost of the few materials at recycling centres that have charges – rubble, soil, tyres, gas bottles and vehicle parts – will rise by inflation (2.48%). Charges for the bulky waste collection service will increase to cover the costs of an improved service.

Recycling site hours and permits

All 16 sites are now on winter timetables until April. When open weekdays, sites operate 9am-5pm. Weekend hours remain 9am-4pm on both Saturday and Sunday at all sites all year-round. Van and trailer permit holders should ignore their card's "expiry date"; the permit scheme has proved successful in cutting congestion and costs while maintaining safety and efficiency, and so it is rolling on unchanged.

Tackling delayed collections

Efforts are being stepped up to reduce delayed collections, despite the inevitable problems of a recycling fleet now close to replacement (new trucks are being built now). A new maintenance contract is in place to cut breakdowns, and a staffing push is on in the face of the national and local shortage of HGV drivers.

Moving away from landfill

SWP remains on track to move away from landfill by April 2020. All rubbish from kerbside collections will be used to generate electricity, part of it to power the UK's largest plastics reprocessing facility being built next door, which is likely to take much of the extra plastics recycled from Somerset. But not all unrecyclable waste taken to recycling sites is suitable for energy from waste, due to its size or content. Trial twin skips for unrecyclable items at sites have been set up to check how much material is suitable. Ask staff which skip to use – trial results will inform new signage.

See our website

for lots more information on waste services and what more you can to do to reduce, reuse and recycle. Contact your local council customer services helpline if you need assistance.

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