A new campaign on food- and what happens to all your recycling?
When is your Christmas collection and where does it all go?
Welcome to SORTED! December 2019 with the latest on what happens to all your recycling, Somerset's big new food campaign, the changes coming for your kerbside collections, and a reminder of all the Christmas dates.
Tracking every tonne of recycling
Our latest annual report on where all Somerset's recycling goes is out, complete with a commitment to reprocess more materials in the UK.
In 2008, SWP was the first in the UK to publish detailed information each year on what happens to your recycling. Many others have followed that lead.
The full 'Beyond the Kerb ' Recycling to Resources' report tracks the destination of the 133,734 tonnes collected in 2018-19 for recycling and reuse, from cans to clothes, including all the carbon saved.
It shows that over half stays in Somerset and over 90% stays in the UK. Somerset is ranked as England's seventh-best area for carbon saving, equal to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.
Somerset did not send abroad for reprocessing a single glass bottle or jar, steel or aluminium can or any of the millions of plastic pots, tubs, trays and bottles taken at every recycling site.
Scroll down now for all the details. See below for a great infographic of the key results.
More and more Somerset people recycle food waste. Do you?
Most Somerset residents recycle food waste, but too much still ends up in Somerset's rubbish, with a quarter of the average Somerset refuse bin being food waste. Somerset's colourful new fun campaign will help change that.
Slim My Waste, Feed My Face will add bright yellow taped 'no food waste' reminders to every rubbish bin, deliver a helpful leaflet to all homes to prompt food recycling, and encourage us all to use free stickers to give our food waste bins powerful personalities ' and spread the word by sharing pictures on social media to win free 'eco-goodies'.
The food waste in our bins is a bigger cause of climate change than the plastic. Yet Somerset wastes 42,000 tonnes of food a year. Recycling all of it through the anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater to generate electricity would bring annual savings of nearly £1 million and 882 tonnes of CO2 equivalent
Recycle More's action plan
As with all new Somerset collection services, Recycle More's expanded weekly recycling collections will be rolled out in phases.
This ensures that every element ' scores of new vehicles, five upgraded depots, thousands of extra containers, all the re-trained staff and far more ' is in place and implementation improves at each stage.
Recycle More will start for over 50,000 homes in Mendip in June-July, at least 60,000 in South Somerset in September-October, 70,000 in South Somerset and Somerset West and Taunton (SWAT) in June-July 2021, more than 55,000 in Sedgemoor, Mendip and SWAT in September-October 2021, and just over 17,000 in the western part of SWAT in February-March 2022.
Recycle More weekly recycling will include all existing materials plus:
Plastic pots, tubs and trays
Tetra Paks, other beverage cartons
Small electrical items
As both careful "composition analysis" of Somerset rubbish bins and large-scale long-term trials in Somerset showed, all that extra recycling will leave rubbish bins far emptier so these will then be collected every three weeks.
Details will be delivered to every home well ahead of time, including collection calendars, and full support will be available for anyone concerned they may have problems.
Happy Christmas! Note your collection dates and recycling sites
Usual day Revised day
Mon 23 Dec No change
Tue 24 Dec No change
Wed 25 Dec Fri 27 Dec
Thu 26 Dec Sat 28 Dec
Fri 27 Dec Sun 29 Dec
Mon 30 Dec. No change
Tue 31 Dec. No change
Wed 1 Jan. Thurs 2 Jan
Thu 2 Jan. Fri 3 Jan
Fri 3 Jan. Sat 4 Jan
Mon 6 Jan. Back to usual
NB: No garden waste pick-ups 23 December to 3 January; they resume from 6 January
Individual recycling site timetables vary but the network is open every day except all sites close on Wednesday 25 December, Thursday 26 December, and Wednesday 1 January. All 16 sites open 9am-4pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Christmas and New Year is one of the busiest times for recycling crews, so help speed up collections by sorting and roughly segregating your boxes without using plastic bags. As one loader said: 'When the boxes are sorted it is much easier to do and you get through it a lot quicker.'
It takes just 20 seconds to collect a well-sorted box but up to two minutes for one where all items are mixed together. Separating materials means faster collections, less road congestion, a more reliable service and a better use of your council tax.
Before and after Christmas and New Year, please do not overload the trucks or crews. Put excess materials from festive parties, internet deliveries and Christmas clear-ups out over time or take them all to a recycling site.
Recycling sites will be doing their best to separate the Christmas materials that can be recycled- especially cardboard and wrapping made of paper- from what cannot, including wrapping paper made of plastic or with glitter, ribbons and bows, and cardboard containing expanded polystyrene, plastic bags and bubble wrap.
Where does all your recycling go?
The latest edition of the pioneering report, 'Beyond the Kerb ' Recycling to Resources', shows how every tonne of Somerset's recycling has contributed to cutting all our carbon footprints.
In 2008, SWP was the first in the UK to publish detailed information every year on what happens to your recycling. Many others have followed that lead.
For the first time SWP has turned this information into an infographic ' see above ' helping to get the message out to more people that sorting your recycling produces high quality material streams that can be kept in the UK and maximise our carbon savings.
Thanks to residents and recycling crews separating recycling, over half stays in Somerset and over 90% stays in the UK.
Somerset is independently ranked as the seventh-best area in England for carbon saving, equivalent to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.
The full 'Beyond the Kerb ' Recycling to Resources' report tracks the destination of the 133,734 tonnes collected in 2018-19 for recycling and reuse, including everything from cans to clothes, with the amounts, locations and companies, and the carbon saved by recycling.
Transparency is important to SWP because, to tackle climate change, it is important not just how much we recycle, but how we recycle it.
The recycling that stays in Somerset includes all 17,990 tonnes of food waste ' turned into electricity and farm compost at the anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater ' and all 42,400 tonnes of garden waste.
In 2018-19, Somerset did not send abroad for reprocessing a single glass bottle or jar, steel or aluminium can, aerosol, Tetra Pak or other beverage carton. All cooking oil, engine oil and all the 172 tonnes of water-based paint sent for reuse stayed in the UK.
Reprocessed in the UK, most of Somerset's glass was turned back into new glass bottles and jars ' saving over 12,000 tonnes of carbon.
Millions of plastic pots, tubs, trays and bottles taken at every recycling site also stayed in the UK to become the raw materials for new products and packaging in plants across the country from Kent to Yorkshire, Wales to Manchester.
Due to the lack of UK reprocessing capacity or demand, SWP's collection and recycling site contractors send a proportion of some materials overseas. Every tonne is carefully tracked.
In all, what goes abroad for reprocessing is just 9% of Somerset's recycling. For example, to meet demand in the developing world, just over half of Somerset's recycled textiles, clothes and shoes went overseas for sale and reuse.
And to make new packaging for the white goods and electronics we import, a proportion of Somerset's paper and card was exported for reprocessing.
The only plastics exported were a third of the plastic bottles from kerbside collections ' the most valuable plastics so too good to be dumped ' that went to legitimate companies in Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, Slovakia and Turkey to become more plastic packaging.
A Somerset Waste Partnership spokesman said: 'We're proud of what we achieved and take care to track every tonne of recycling, but we want to do even better in the future. As new recycling capacity comes on line in the UK ' including the country's largest plastics plant in Avonmouth, powered by burning Somerset's rubbish ' even more can be achieved. 'If there is enough UK capacity and demand, from spring 2020 we won't export anything we collect.