SWB briefing, July 2017
Permit success eases access Somerset’s vehicle permits scheme has proved so successful that Somerset Waste Board has, after a full review and listening carefully to residents, decided to allow vans, pick-ups and car-towed trailers access whenever recycling sites are open, including all weekends.
A report on the permit scheme’s first six months found that it achieved all its aims: to cut congestion, control illegal commercial users, bar out-of-county visitors from holding permits, maintain safety and improve services.
Some 22,000 Somerset residents with vans, pick-ups and car-towed trailers took a minute to order a free permit online directly or via a library. Recycling site staff have seen a decrease in commercial users taking advantage of busy sites to sneak in waste they must legally pay to dispose of, while many out-of-county visitors have been barred from using sites.
The amount of waste brought in by illegal and out-of-county users has been cut significantly, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds, but forecasts of a rise in fly-tipping proved wrong, with overall dumping figures for Somerset falling to a five-year low.