New trials will begin in September to explore how Somerset can boost recycling and reduce waste. It will roll out three trials totaling 5,000 households this Septembers, including reducing refuse collections to once every three-weekly for 1,100 homes.
For three months, around 5,000 households in the Taunton Deane district will be involved in one of three different “Recycle More” trials organised by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP).
Recycle More Trial 1 (1,800 homes) Taunton’s Rowbarton, Deane Drive and Hillyfields areas: New kerbside recycling items and unchanged collection frequency of recycling, including weekly food waste, and fortnightly refuse.
SWP managing director Steve Read – “Unless people fail to recycle, including the new items collected – plastic pots, tubs and trays; drink cartons; and both household batteries and small electrical items – they should have very few problems with the trial of three-weekly collections”
Recycle More Trial 2 (2,300 homes) Wellington’s Longforth Road, Holyoake Street and Waterloo Road areas, and Taunton’s Waterleaze and Thames Drive areas: New kerbside recycling items, fortnightly collection of dry recycling and refuse, weekly food waste collection.
Recycle More Trial 3 (1,100 homes) Wiveliscombe and Langley Marsh: New kerbside recycling items and unchanged collection frequency of recycling, including weekly food waste, with refuse collected every three weeks.
In addition to the existing dozen recycled materials, including food waste, new items will be collected in only the Recycle More trial areas, including plastic pots, beverage cartons and batteries and small electrical items.
After the Recycle More trials, all households involved will revert to their current collection cycles of weekly recycling, including food waste, and fortnightly refuse.
The Recycle More trials will not lead to any immediate changes but will be considered as part of the long-term planning of waste services from 2016 at the very earliest; if changes are proposed in future, they will need the approval of SWP’s partner local councils and SWP’s governing Somerset Waste Board.
“All the trials take place in the context of continued pressure both to boosting recycling, which has strong environmental and economic benefits, and to cut council spending on waste,” SWP said. “Somerset’s recycling rate is 51 percent, with each household producing close to a tonne of refuse and recycling.
“Most people recycle, but anonymised analysis of Somerset household refuse shows that half the contents of an average refuse bin could be recycled through current kerbside collections, saving up to 50 percent of the £12.2m pounds a year Somerset spends on landfilling refuse.”
SWP managing director Steve Read said: “Evidence produced by the Recycle More trials will help develop efficient, cost-effective services that are good for the environment, good for Somerset and meet people’s needs to recycle more, waste less and save money. We are open to the outcome and welcome all feedback.
“Unless people fail to recycle, including the new items collected – plastic pots, tubs and trays; drink cartons; and both household batteries and small electrical items – they should have very few problems with the trial of three-weekly collections.
“Unless people ignore our clear and repeated advice to never put food into their refuse bin and to wrap any smelly waste well, they will have no problem with smell, flies or vermin during the trial.”