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Somerset Waste Partnership
Briefing for Members, Partners and Staff
Managing waste and recycling services for all authorities in Somerset
Since starting to accept household
plastic pots, tubes and trays (PTT) at all
16 recycling sites, there has been an
upsurge in the tonnage of plastic taken;
with June’s total over 50% more plastic
than in the months before its
The scheme has been so successful
that we are currently reviewing site-bysite
provision to ensure we have enough
banks and that their emptying frequency
meets the demand. Site staff may
occasionally ask visitors to deposit PTT
in dumpy bags for temporary storage. It
is encouraging to see Somerset
residents strongly supporting the new
Crews in hot weather
Somerset Waste Partnership and Kier
have been working to support the crews
during the recent spell of unusually hot
weather. Cold boxes containing water
were added to cabs, and on particularly
hot days, Kier supervisors and SWP
operational officers attended crews to
provide them with cold water supplies.
Early starts from 6am have been agreed
for hot days. SWP is working hard to
ensure that the public are aware of early
starts, that Kier staff are sensitive to
noise levels when starting early, and
that appropriate arrangements are put in
place to revisit streets collected from
Unfortunately some scheduled
collections can be delayed by lorry
breakdowns or crews being unable to
finish collections due to the heat.
Following SWP’s collection protocol,
catch-up collections can be run on a
Saturday, with the public advised via
Collection crew safety
SWP has been using social media to
ask for greater respect for collection
crews after a loader was taken to
hospital and recycling collections
around Nether Stowey were
subsequently disrupted after a car
attempted to pass a waste vehicle that
was parked to ensure safety for all road
SWP collection crews are advised in
certain situations, such as collecting on
narrow roads, to stop the collection
truck temporarily in the centre of a road
as a barrier so other vehicles cannot
pass. This is to protect the loaders who
may be working on both sides of the
vehicle, and other road users, such as
cyclists and pedestrians. Luckily in this
case, the driver was not seriously
injured but the incident was reported to
Residents have also been reminded not
to put sharp items, such as kitchen
knives or syringes, in recycling boxes.
Recruitment and retention
The recent campaign to encourage
recruitment of recycling collection
drivers and loaders is starting to bear
fruit. Kerbside contractor Kier has been
working to improve staff retention, which
assists with round knowledge to avoid
missed collections. Additionally, Kier’s
Managing waste and recycling services for all local authorities in Somerset
recruitment firm Smart Solutions has introduced a dedicated text number for enquiries, (Text DRIVEKIER to 88802), has been actively recruiting staff from Eastern Europe and from across the South West/South Wales, as well as working with SWP to develop a number of initiatives to more effectively target potential staff within Somerset.
SWP Vision and Strategy
Somerset Waste Board has revised its Vision and SWP is starting work on a 25-year Waste Management Strategy to set the ambition for the future. This document will set out our shared ambitions, include a focus on customer services and communications, and help the partnership be clear how it delivers services and measures success.
To this end, SWP will be working with an expert advisory panel, which will include industry, as well as local green and environmental groups. This project will be developed in response to expected significant national central government policy changes, scheduled to be announced within the national 25-year Resources and Environment Strategy, which is due to be released in the autumn. To view the relevant Board Paper click here.
Latest media releases
Recent communications included:
6am starts for waste collections in hot weather
Recycling collections in and around Nether Stowey disrupted
Wells MP James Heappey visit to Wells recycling centre. Upcoming communications will continue to focus on crew safety.
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 on Friday 28 September 2018. SWB meeting agendas, papers and reports are available online.
For more on SWP, SWB and waste services: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.
Mendip – Cllrs Nigel Woollcombe-Adams (Vice Chair), Nigel Taylor
Sedgemoor – Cllrs Dawn Hill, Gill Slocombe
Somerset County – Cllrs David Hall, Mike Pullin
South Somerset – Cllrs Jo Roundell Greene, Derek Yeomans (Chairman)
Taunton Deane Borough – Cllrs Patrick Berry, Hazel Prior-Sankey
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.