SWP Briefing July 2018

July 25, 2018





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Somerset Waste Partnership

Briefing for Members, Partners and Staff

July 2018


Managing waste and recycling services for all authorities in Somerset



Plastic recycling

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

before 7am.


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

social media.


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

the police.


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.


SWB membership:

 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.

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