Somerset Approves Three Weekly Waste Collection

home_recyclemorecontainersThe Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has approved plans to move to a three-weekly residual waste collection. 

Approval has been given to the new “Recycle More” weekly kerbside collections scheme. The move will mean that as well as moving to three-weekly collection of residual waste, materials taken for recycling will increase to include plastic pots, tubs and trays, as well as household batteries and small electrical items.

Taking extra materials each week will see recycling rates jump and result in thousands of tonnes less residual waste, the SWP says.

Recycle More will be rolled out across the county in several phases from late 2017.

“If people recycle all they can, including every scrap of food, they will have very few problems, but if anyone does face difficulties after Recycle More starts, they just need to ask their local council for advice or extra help.”

After all six Somerset councils “separately and overwhelmingly” endorsed Recycle More, Somerset Waste Partnership’s governing Board of two councillors from each of those same local authorities – five districts and the county council – unanimously gave it the green light.

Using a range of new vehicles to suit Somerset’s varied conditions and take all materials at one time, including the growing “internet avalanche” of cardboard, Recycle More will collect the light but bulky plastic food packaging in a tough new base-weighted store-flat bag.

Backed by a communications campaign, with a planned collection reminder app for smartphones, Recycle More is expected to recycle almost 13,000 extra tonnes of materials now being landfilled each year, cut waste levels significantly, and save, after initial costs, £1.7m annually, SWP says.

In a survey conducted by the SWP, more than 80% of families in the trials who had three weekly residual waste collections and extra weekly recycling found it worked so well they wanted to continue with the same service, the SWP says.

Similar schemes of extra materials and reduced frequency rubbish collections have long been underway for millions of residents in 14 council areas across the UK, with many more expected and similar plans for parts of Devon.

Recycle More will keep communal collections from flats as they are, except that extra weekly recycling materials will be added if possible, and maintain clinical, garden and bulky waste collections, while assisted collections will continue but on the new frequency.

Somerset Waste Board chairman Cllr Derek Yeomans said: “Recycle More is a huge step forward for Somerset residents to maximise recycling, minimise residual waste, and make big savings to invest in other vital services.

“If people recycle all they can, including every scrap of food, they will have very few problems, but if anyone does face difficulties after Recycle More starts, they just need to ask their local council for advice or extra help.”

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