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  1. Van, pick-up, trailer? Apply here for a site permit

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    DO YOU NEED A PERMIT? AND HOW TO APPLY

    If visiting a recycling site in Somerset with your household waste you may need a permit depending on the type of vehicle you are using, or if towing a trailer.  Please be aware there are restrictions on both vehicle and trailer size.

    Permits are only available to Somerset residents. Permits are free and must be taken to site and displayed on each and every visit.

    Do I need a permit?

    This predominantly depends on the DVLA vehicle classification of your vehicle category which can be found by using the link to the DVLA website provided here.  Look up your vehicle details and check the classification shown in the line called “Vehicle Type Approval”.

    Needs a permit:

    • – Vehicles with an ‘N1’ classification, which means ‘designed and constructed for the carriage of goods under 3.5 tonnes’, such as: vans, pick-ups and some Land Rovers.
    • – Campervan or minibus with ‘N1’ or ‘M1’ classification.
    • – Single-axle trailer of up to three-metre floor length (but only if towed by a car with ‘M1’ classification). Vehicles that require a permit cannot tow a trailer under any circumstances.

    Not allowed:

    • – Any vehicle with neither ‘M1’ nor ‘N1’ classification (such as ‘M2’, ‘M3’, ‘N2’, ‘N3’).
    • – Any Luton van or box van, regardless of classification.
    • – Single axle trailer over three-metres floor length.
    • – Any multi-axle trailer.
    • – Horse box, agricultural vehicle, agricultural trailer.

    No permit needed unless towing trailer:

    • – Any vehicle, (except camper vans or minibuses), with M1 classification, which means it was ‘designed and constructed for the carriage of people and comprising no more than 8 seats in addition to the drivers seat’, such as: almost all cars, estates, people carriers and some Land Rovers. Only these vehicles may tow a trailer on to a site.

    Click here to check your vehicle registration

    Click here to order your free van or trailer permit (Somerset addresses only, instant email or download confirmation; 10 working days delivery of permit card).
    Check the frequently asked questions about the new measures and how the permit system will work.
    Check the van and trailer permit terms and conditions, and the data terms and conditions.
    Check how the new measures and permit system will affect business users with paid-for trade waste.

    These vehicles cannot access sites while towing trailers: vans, pick-ups, campervans, minibuses, Land Rover pick-ups. There are no exceptions to this condition. Multi-axle trailers cannot access sites. There are no exceptions to this condition.

    Permits allow use at open sites during normal operating hours.  Permits are only available at Somerset residential addresses.

    If you are a business user, you do not need a permit to start or continue using the 10 recycling sites that take paid-for trade waste but check here for details of access and vehicle changes.

    The best way to ensure you are up to date about waste services, including the permit scheme and other measures, is to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, Sorted.

    This will have the latest details, information on how to apply for a free permit, and advice for those depositing paid-for commercial waste. You can sign up during the permit application or here, below.

    Sign up to our e-newsletter Info

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  2. Free one-day course offer to find compost champions

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    Somerset needs new champions to help its gardeners and growers save and improve their soil, one garden or allotment at a time.

    A call is going out to find good composters who can foster this vital skill throughout the county.

    Free training, helpful support and the chance to be a Compost Champion are on offer from eco-education charity the Carymoor Environmental Trust, backed by Somerset Waste Partnership.

    A one-day free course is being held in October for Somerset residents who can commit some time to promoting composting in their local community.

    Compost Champions are volunteers who help others start composting at home, and offer support to people who need advice or encouragement to keep going or overcome any difficulties.

    Started in 2009, the Compost Champion scheme now has more than 60 volunteers across Somerset who raise awareness among fellow residents of the benefits of composting.

    They can choose to promote composting in a variety of ways, such as a chatting to a neighbour, talking to a school, writing an article for a parish magazine, or taking a display to an event.

    Carymoor chief executive Rupert Farthing said: “Composting has many benefits; converting organic matter into a free fertilizer, it improves soil structure, helps plants grow and cuts waste.”

    The free training covers the composting process, ways to use compost, and how to help others get started and do more.

    With helpful support and materials, becoming a Compost Champion is a great way to meet new people, learn valuable skills, and benefit from being part of a team that makes a difference.

    The next training course is being held at Trinity Hall in Frome on Saturday 15 October from 10am to 4pm.

    For more information on the new course or to sign up, email Rupert Farthing on rupert.farthing@carymoor.org.uk or call 01963 350143.

  3. Nab the unusual suspects to raise your clear-up rate

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    Hiding in plain sight are a gang of energy guzzling, materials consuming, money wasting characters who Somerset families should be giving a better future.

    These are the often-missed “unusual suspects”, all those containers or bits of packaging that can easily get overlooked, heading into the rubbish bin and off to landfill instead of being recycled.

    Recycle Week 2016 during 12-18 September is a great excuse to look again at what your family is recycling, and to ensure that nothing misses the chance to become useful once more.

    Somerset residents recycle plenty of plastic bottles, food and drink cans, jam jars, cardboard boxes and newspapers, but it is all too easy to overlook other items around the house.

    What of aerosols, foil trays, beauty crème jars and toilet roll tubes? Boxes from toothpaste and tissues, bottles from perfume or aftershave? Spray cleaners and liquid soap dispensers?

    Often found in rooms with no recycling container – the bedroom and bathroom are likely hide-outs – recycling all these could save plenty of cash, materials and energy.

    Experts have worked out that if everyone in the UK recycled one aluminium aerosol, the energy saved could vacuum 480,000 homes for a year

    And recycling just one humble toothpaste box each could save enough energy to run 2,000 home fridges for a year.

    A Somerset Waste Partnership spokesman said: “It’s important to raise awareness of those unusual suspects that today may be getting away scot free.

    “Recycling is already making a big difference thanks to the dedication of many Somerset residents but there is more that we could all easily do.

    “Recycle Week is an ideal opportunity to really take a fresh look at our recycling habits to see what more is possible.”

    “Every tonne of recycled materials collected in Somerset becomes new products or packaging; nothing is lost, so it is time to round up those unusual suspects to add to the haul.”

    Check the home collections page for more details, including what to recycle and how.

  4. Kerbside waste collections back on usual schedule

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    All kerbside waste collections are back on their usual schedules from this week, including recycling and rubbish pick-ups, as well as garden, clinical and assisted collections.

    Recycling, rubbish and garden waste bins and boxes should be out by 7am on the day of collection.

    As ever, those with clinical waste collections should put their containers out the night before because of the crews early start time.

    The advice on what to put out for collection and how is clear:

    • Rubbish bins should have their lids closed with no “side waste” on top or beside the bin, or households without a bin can put out up to four black sacks.
    • For recycling, take tops off and rinse containers, squash all except glass and aerosols, sort and roughly segregate items in boxes without leaving in plastic bags.
    • Flatten all card, and put out for kerbside collection no more than the equivalent of two recycling boxes full.
    • Check what we take and do not accept, only put out what is on the list. When in doubt, check or leave it out.

    Fast rising levels of cardboard mean that the card chamber on recycling trucks can quickly get full.

    This gives crews the choice of leaving card behind to continue collecting other items, or driving back to the depot to drop off the card and risk late or missed collections on their recycling route.

    To avoid missed card or missed collections, you could consider:

    • If your packaged purchase is not fragile, taking it away unpacked, leaving the card at the supermarket, garden centre or other store.
    • If a big item in cardboard is delivered, getting the crew who brought the item to take away all the packaging.
    • If you have storage, put out some card each week until it is all gone.
    • If you have time and transport, take all card and other recycling except food waste to a recycling site.

    The check which sites are open when, and all the other materials you can drop off at once, visit the recycling sites pages.