Cash-free plastic payment trial for Chard recycling site

Chard Recycling Centre is going cash-free for the month of February, in a trial that will see it taking payments only on “plastic”.

Payments will be accepted on Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, Visa Electron and Diners Club, including contactless cards.

Security and safety of staff has been cited as the reasons for the trial, as Chard takes a wide variety of charged-for materials, with waste levels rising year-on-year.

These include items classified as non-household, such as gas bottles, soil, hardcore and tyres, brought in by residents, as well as domestically-generated vehicle parts.

Businesses are charged to recycle or dispose of two dozen commercial waste materials, from timber and fridges to plasterboard and fluorescent tubes.

Like all recycling sites in Somerset, Chard also does a brisk trade in “Revive” soil conditioner at £4 a bag and £10 for three.

Chard Recycling Centre was chosen as the trial site as the staff are experienced in handling payments on plastic and the current level of transactions is manageable.

It is also one of 10 sites that accept businesses’ paid-for commercial waste, and – in a separate scheme – among the 10 sites that takes residents’ paid-for vehicle parts for recycling or disposal.

After the 1-29 February trial, councillors on Somerset Waste Board will consider the results before any decision is taken about whether to extend it to other sites in future.

A Somerset Waste Partnership spokesman said: “As the rest of the world goes cash-free, we need to see if this might work for payments at recycling sites, with Chard the testbed.”

Click here for details of Chard Recycling Centre, from opening hours to materials taken and links to lists of charges.