Welcome to August’s SORTED! from Somerset Waste Partnership. Apologies for the gap in publishing; much more to come very soon on everything from textiles to reuse. In this issue, below:
Do share this with friends, family, colleagues – but urge them to sign up, too, by going to somersetwaste.gov.uk and scrolling down to click on the green button.
A week of changes to your kerbside collections
No collections on Bank Holiday Monday 31 August mean one-day-later pick-ups all week, including Friday’s collections on Saturday 5 September.
Recycling sites will all remain on their usual summer schedules, with 16 open 9am-4pm on both Saturdays and Sundays, and 12 sites open 9am-6pm on Bank Holiday Monday itself.
Saving many millions, recycling is on the up …
More recycled with £15 million of landfill costs avoided is the key highlight in the latest “Beyond the Kerb – Recycling to Resources” report.
Cans to card, electricals to wood, this pioneering Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) report analyses what happens to all the materials residents put out kerbside or take to recycling sites.
In all, 135,420 tonnes were kept from landfill in 2019-20, up 1,686 tonnes on a year before, and the carbon savings were equivalent to taking almost 26,000 cars off the road for a year.
Annual reports since 2008 show how residents and waste staff have driven up recycling rates from 15% to 52.8% today, up about 0.5% over 2018-19.
More than half of the recycling stays in Somerset, including 18,572 tonnes of food waste turned into electricity and farm compost by the county’s anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater, and 42,490 tonnes of garden waste that become compost.
And 90% of Somerset’s recycling stays in the UK, including all or most cans, glass bottles and jars, electrical items, beverage cartons, oil – engine and cooking – and the fast-rising levels of plastic pots, tubs and trays.
Somerset is supplying many thousands of tonnes of items that are that are being turned into the raw materials for new products and packaging in plants across the country, from as close to home as Devon and Wiltshire to Kent and Yorkshire, Wales and Manchester.
Due to a lack of UK reprocessing capacity or demand, SWP’s two main contractors sent a small proportion of some materials overseas in 2019-20. So we know nothing is wasted or dumped, every tonne is carefully tracked to the first destination company and its location.
For example, some Somerset textiles were reused overseas, a proportion of plastic bottles went to legitimate Asian outlets to become new plastic packaging, and card was exported to countries like India to come back as packaging for imported white goods and electronics.
As new recycling facilities come on line, including a big plastics plant in Avonmouth, even more will be achieved. SWP and its contractors have said that if there is enough reprocessing capacity and demand to keep Somerset’s recycling in the UK, none of it will be exported.
A SWP spokesman said: “For more than a decade, Somerset has set out exactly what happens to recycling, ensuring confidence in its systems as it transforms waste services, from ending almost all landfill to boosting recycling with new Recycle More collections.”
… but recycling is set to go even higher with Recycle More
The roll-out of Recycle More, helping everyone to recycle much more and waste far less, is starting in Mendip (only) in late October, with the rest of Somerset following in 2021 and 2022.
By recycling extra each week – plastic pots, tubs, trays; cartons/Tetra Paks; small batteries; small electrical items – Recycle More will empty Somerset’s rubbish bins so they need only be picked up every three weeks.
The recycling rate will jump and, as new facilities come on line, even more of our recycling will stay in the UK.
Every Mendip household will be sent full details in two leaflets – the first in September, the second in October – plus their new Bright Blue Bag to help with all that extra recycling.
Extra support is available for anyone with concerns about Recycle More. Please check the leaflets being delivered to Mendip homes.
Garden and clinical waste pick-ups will not change with Recycle More, and improvements for those with communal collections – such as flats and houses of multiple occupancy – are due in 2021.
For more on Recycle More, check all the information here.
Do you live in Mendip and have more questions that need answers? Tune for our live Q&A sessions on Facebook:
And the Community Council will feature Recycle More in two of its upcoming Facebook Talking Cafes:
Here’s a bargain offer to help your garden grow
Somerset Waste Partnership has teamed up with getcomposting.com to provide an exclusive offer of 1,000 home compost bins for as little as £10.
Home composting cuts CO2 emissions and turns all garden waste and suitable kitchen waste into a free supply of compost to keep your garden blooming year after year.
Two sizes of compost “converters” are included: the 220 Litre is only £10, the larger 330L is just £12.50.
Save even more with the buy-one-get-one-half-price deal for two of the same size. Delivery is £9.99 per order, so why not order two and share delivery with a friend, neighbour or relative?
Voted best “budget buy” in Gardeners’ World Magazine, the bins are made from recycled plastic, require no assembly, and are guaranteed for seven years. Optional base plate available.
For the best home composter results, find a partly sunny site as the sun’s warmth will speed up decomposition. Use a mix of ingredients, with roughly equal amounts of “green” material (grass cuttings, fruit and veg scraps etc) and “brown” materials (woody prunings, autumn leaves etc).
Compost’s worms and “mini-beasts” must breathe – create air pockets with scrunched up kitchen roll tubes or card egg boxes, and aerate the contents by turning it with a garden fork.
Buy your bins at getcomposting.com; and find offer details and helpful composting tips on our website here.
Got your ‘My Account’ yet? Thousands have already signed up
My Account is the free-and-easy way to manage your waste services online 24/7.
With it, you can report missed collections after 6pm on the due day, check dates, order free recycling boxes and food waste bins, arrange paid-for bulky waste collections, buy garden waste sacks and request garden sack collections, submit reports, and more.
Recycling sites back to business as usual with shop-style safety
All sites are operating as usual and recycling the full range of materials, with shop-style safety restrictions:
PS: Summer hours now – see timetable below – but winter hours from 1 October 2020, with all open sites operating 9am-4pm weekends and 9am-5pm on weekdays.
More on Somerset Waste Partnership, our services and preventing waste
See our website for more information on collection services, recycling sites, and what more you can to do to reduce, reuse and recycle.
To manage most waste services, sign up for your free online My Account here.
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Somerset Waste Partnership, Broughton House, Blackbrook Park Av., Taunton, Somerset TA1 2PR