It is now possible to recycle plastic across Somerset in heralded as a "leap forward" in waste services.
Somerset Waste Partnership's shake up approach to recycling has been described as the "biggest change to plastics recycling in the county" in almost a decade.
All of its 16 recycling centres in Somerset will now accept plastic food pots, tubs and trays
Somerset Waste Partnership will now recycle plastic food pots, tubs and trays – the rigid plastic containers for yoghurt, margarine, fruit and other foods – as well as all plastic bottles.
Plastic food pots, tubs and trays are now being taken in the plastic bottle skips at all 16 recycling sites.
The news follows successful trials of taking extra plastics in kerbside collections and at a small number of sites to check the quality and monitor levels of contamination from unwanted materials.
What can recycling sites accept?
The plastic bottle and pots, tubs and trays skips will take black plastic food trays, but residents must:
Remove all foil, film covers, and cardboard attached to or enclosing the material
Discard all lids, flip-caps and trigger-tops from plastic bottles.
Rinse out food residues or other contents, and squash items to fit more in each skip.
They must also exclude:
Thin plastics, such as cling film, carrier bags, black sacks, or bubble wrap.
Plastic plant or paint pots, with or without any contents.
Other plastics, such as plastic toys, CD cases, garden furniture or car parts.
What next for Somerset recycling?
All of its 16 recycling centres in Somerset will now accept plastic food pots, tubs and trays. Residents can also leave plastics in their recycling bins.
All of its 16 recycling centres in Somerset will now accept plastic food pots, tubs and trays. Residents can also leave plastics in their recycling bins (Image: Somerset Waste Partnership)
The change in plastic recycling has been described as a "a leap forward in the planned transformation" of Somerset waste services from 2020.
The partnership also plans to end landfilling rubbish, a phased roll out of the new "Recycle More" weekly kerbside collections and three-weekly collections of the far emptier refuse bins.
The organisation is launching a Schools Against Waste programme across 90 primary schools, promoting free water refills in local food outlets, and launching a plastics pledge card with simple tips and information.
11 sites stay open to 7pm on late-night Mondays.
Castle Cary – Dimmer Recycling Centre, Castle Cary Recycling Centre, Dimmer Lane, Castle Cary, BA7 7JB
Chard – Chard Recycling Centre, Beeching Close, Chard, TA20 1BB
Cheddar – Cheddar Recycling Centre, Wedmore Road, Cheddar, BS27 3EJ
Crewkerne – Community Recycling Site, Blacknell Lane Industrial Estate, Crewkerne, TA18 7HE
Dulverton – Community Recycling Site, Dulverton Recycling Site, Brushford Road, Dulverton, TA22 9AA
Frome – Recycling Centre, Manor Furlong, Manor Road, Frome, BA11 4RJ
Highbridge – Recycling Centre, Isleport Business Park, Bennett Road, Highbridge, TA9 4JS
Minehead – Recycling Centre, Mart Road Industrial Estate, Minehead, TA24 5BJ
Somerton – Recycling Centre, Bancombe Road Industrial Estate, Somerton, TA11 6SB
Street – Street Recycling Centre, Farm Lane (A39), Street, BA16 9PB
Taunton – Taunton Recycling Centre, Crown Industrial Estate, Priorswood, Taunton, TA2 8QY
Wellington – Recycling Centre, Poole Brickworks, Nynehead, TA21 9HW
Wells – Wells Recycling Centre, Dulcote Hill, Near Wells BA5 3PZ
Williton – Recycling Centre, Roughmoor Industrial Estate, Williton TA4 4RF
Yeovil – Recycling Centre, Artillery Road, Lufton Trading Estate, Yeovil, BA22 8RP
A spokesman said: "Taking plastic food pots, tubs and trays at all recycling sites is a big step forward.
We are working with councils, companies, campaigning groups and schools to help people cut their waste by using less plastic and recycling far more of the plastic they buy when shopping."