Somerset Waste Partnership
Briefing for Members, Partners and Staff April 2018
Planning Recycle More
SWP has submitted the Official Journal of the European Union notice to procure a new contractor to carry out the Recycle More kerbside collections in the county from 2020. The notice invites potential bidders to register their interest or lodge enquiries with the procurement team at Somerset County Council (SWP’s administering authority). As a benchmark before Recycle More, and to inform procurement, communications and behaviour change activity, waste composition and recycling participation analysis is currently being undertaken. Neither survey can identify ownership of individual bins or relate the contents back to the individual property.
Recent round reorganisation
To rebalance collection rounds following new housing growth in recent years, 2,400 properties across West Somerset and Sedgemoor had a kerbside collection day change in April. A further 33,000 households stayed on the same collection day but were re-distributed between rounds. Collections contractor Kier developed comprehensive operational and communications plans to ensure the changes went smoothly.
Single use plastic
SWP is working closely with other Somerset local authorities and partners to coordinate and share learning as we tackle together the unnecessary and avoidable use of single-use plastic. SWP is planning to launch a pledge against preventable plastic in the coming weeks and we will work with partner authorities to ensure that we get the message out to local authority staff and other major public sector employers, such as schools and NHS.
Following a successful trial, SWP is working to extend the recycling provision for pots, tubs and trays across the whole recycling centre network. And SWP hopes to work with its partner authorities, parish councils, local environmental groups and retail businesses, such as cafes and pubs, to ensure free water is widely available across Somerset to those with refillable bottles, thus cutting back on litter on beaches and in the countryside.
Beyond Somerset, the Government has announced consultations on a deposit return scheme expected to cover single- use glass and plastic bottles as well as steel and aluminium cans, and proposals to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds, straws and drink stirrers.
These consultations, which would both affect England, follow the levy on plastic carrier bags, the ban on microbeads, and widespread public concern about plastic pollution, as highlighted on the Blue Planet television series.
It is hoped that a deposit return scheme will change the public’s attitude and behaviour towards recycling, encouraging them to recycle when “out and about” as well as at home. UK consumers use 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year but more than three billion are not recycled. Click here for details of the deposit return consultation and here for the consultation on banning straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
There are concerns, that focusing on on-the-go recycling may detract and undermine established council-run kerbside collection services. However, there could be council savings made if the deposit return scheme cuts the cost of litter clearance. SWP awaits the results of the consultations with interest.
May Bank holiday services
Collections in the week following both May bank holidays Mondays (7 and 28 May) will, as usual, be one day later, with Friday’s collections on Saturday. All recycling sites will be open on their usual schedule on the bank holiday Mondays and during the rest of each week. For collection and recycling site information see our website.
Modern Apprentice scheme
SWP has taken on another Modern Apprentice, under a scheme which has proved previously successful, with two current staff members having started their careers through this scheme.
Feedback on the briefing
We are interested to hear your feedback on SWP’s briefing as part of our efforts to improve communication. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to give us your views. Thank you.
Latest media releases
Recent media releases and web posts included:
All change: more recycling and energy not landfill
School goes bananas over food waste
Facebook post on touch-free plastic pouches for meat
Somerset Waste Board
SWP is the executive arm of SWB, with two members nominated by each of the six Somerset partner councils, one of which must be the portfolio holder for waste and/or the environment. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected at the Board AGM from its membership. The next SWB meeting is the AGM on Friday 29 June 2018. SWB meeting agendas, papers and reports are available online
For more on SWP, SWB and waste services: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.
SWB membership by council is:
Mendip – Cllrs Nigel Woollcombe-
Adams (Vice Chair), Nigel Taylor
Sedgemoor – Cllrs Dawn Hill, Gill
Somerset County – David Hall,
Clare Aparicio Paul
South Somerset – Cllrs Jo Roundell
Greene, Derek Yeomans (Chairman)
Taunton Deane Borough – Cllrs
Patrick Berry, Gwilym Wren
West Somerset – Cllrs Martin
Dewdney, Brenda Maitland-Walker
Information on SWP services
For all advice and information, visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Sign-up to our e-zine on our website. All partners’ customer service helplines can assist with service enquiries.