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Somerset Waste Partnership
Briefing for Members, Partners and Staff
Managing waste and recycling services for all authorities in Somerset
Residents, crews save the day
This summer has, so far, included extreme temperatures, vehicle breakdowns, driver shortages and vandalism of refuse trucks. Thanks to hard working staff and helpful residents – including many offering cool drinks in hot weather to crews – missed collections were kept to a minimum.
Your rubbish bin revealed
As part of our preparations for Recycle More, experts have carried out a composition analysis of Somerset’s rubbish and monitored participation in recycling (anonymously, of course). Results show that although 85% of residents actively recycle on a regular basis, 26% of the average refuse bin, by weight, is still food waste. Materials that currently can and should go in a recycling box, including paper, cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, textiles, and glass bottles and jars, make up 17%, and another 9% is garden waste that should be either composted at home or collected via the garden waste service.
The analysis also assessed the contents of refuse bins by volume. It found that well over half of the contents of our rubbish bins should not be there. An interesting finding of the research is that the average Somerset wheeled bin is not completely full after two weeks. This surplus capacity, together with plans to introduce expanded weekly recycling collections, including plastic pots, tubs and trays, and Tetra Paks, means we are confident that residents will manage the change to three-weekly refuse collections rolling out from 2020.
Plastics rush to recycling sites
All 16 recycling sites have seen a rush to bring in the food and household plastic pots, tubs and trays now taken. Demand has been so high that dumpy bags and other containers sometimes have to be used to hold those extra items – but rest assured that will all be taken to Viridor’s plastics reprocessing facility in Kent.
Landfill diversion exercise
Working with our contractors, SWP is running an exercise at the Highbridge and Yeovil recycling centres until 31 October to explore what and how much unrecyclable waste currently taken to recycling sites is suitable for disposal by the Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) being built by Viridor at Avonmouth. Residents taking non-recyclable waste to these sites will be directed to one of two designated skips, depending on the type of material they have brought in.
Permit or licence?
Always check SWP is reminding residents that the permits required for vans and trailers to access the network of local recycling sites are not waste carrier licences. SWP introduced the permit scheme in 2016 to help cut congestion and trade waste abuse by allowing only Somerset residents to bring in their household waste with a van or car-towed trailer. Waste carrier licences are required by law if you transport waste, or are a waste broker or dealer. If you are paying for your waste to be removed, the advice to stop it being flytipped is simple: never pay cash or use Managing waste and recycling services for all local authorities in Somerset social media; get a receipt, check the waste carrier licence and a copy of the waste transfer note; and always keep notes of names, phone contacts and vehicle registration numbers. Full advice: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/flytipping. Check waste licences here: https://environment.data.gov.uk/publicregister/view/index
Stop that barbecue bin blaze
SWP has reminded residents this summer about the fire risks from discarding barbecue coals, which must be drenched or completely cool before adding to rubbish bins. Full advice www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/slider/howto-prevent-a-blaze-in-your-refuse-bin/
And with the weather encouraging al fresco meals and more, SWP has explained that metal kitchenware, large catering-sized metal containers or tins for biscuits and sweets, and five-litre beer kegs cannot be accepted at the kerbside and should be taken to any recycling site for recycling.
Your Somerset hits the mat
Keep an eye out for the next Your Somerset newspaper with a four-page pull out on all waste services. It will hit the doormats from 10 September.
Recent communications included:
Facebook – BBQ Safety message
Twitter – SWP promoting Refill
Upcoming communications will continue to focus on waste reduction, especially food, plastics recycling, and reuse, including repair cafes.
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 WoollcombeAdams (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 MaitlandWalker
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.