August 2017

August 2017

Bank Holiday Monday means all change for your waste

25/08/2017: 08:49

No collections take place on Bank Holiday Monday 28 August, which means recycling and rubbish collections are all one day later during the week, including Friday pick-ups on Saturday 2 September.

The changes affect collections of recycling, refuse, garden waste, as well as clinical waste and assisted collections.

Residents should sort and segregate recycling, ensure nothing that could be recycled – especially food – is in the rubbish bin and put all waste containers out by 7am.

All kerbside collections return to their usual schedules from Monday 4 September.

All recycling centres and community recycling sites remain on their usual timetables, with five – Bridgwater, Frome, Minehead, Taunton and Yeovil – open 8am-4pm seven days a week, and 11 open five days a week, including Saturday 8am-4pm, Sunday 8am-1pm and Bank Holiday Monday 8am-7pm.

If you forget to put out your recycling or rubbish on the changed day, your options include, if you have space, storing materials until your next collection or, if you have time and transport, or have a friend, neighbour or family member who can help, taking all rubbish and recycling to any open recycling site.

Following the recent relaxation of weekend hours for permit holders, customers with permits for vans, pick-ups, campervans, minibuses and car-towed trailers can use any recycling site, when open, at any time on weekdays, weekends and bank holidays.

‘Cards only’ switch as all recycling sites go cash-free

08/08/2017: 10:29

Somerset’s 16 recycling sites will switch to operate cash-free and cheque-free from Friday 1 September with almost all payments taken only on credit, debit and charge cards.

The only exceptions will be the £2 entry fees for Crewkerne and Dulverton community recycling sites, which will continue to be in cash, and paying at the Reuse Shop within Taunton (Priorswood) Recycling Centre, which will continue to accept cash.

The move to all payments on plastic was agreed by councillors from all six Somerset authorities following many months of successful trials at both Chard and Taunton recycling sites since 2016.

Enhancing efficiency, security and the safety of staff, payments will be accepted on Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, Visa Electron and Diners Club, including contactless cards.

Among the plastic-only payments taken at all recycling sites will be for the charged-for materials brought in by residents but classified as non-household: gas bottles, soil, hardcore and tyres.

And 10 sites take paid-for residents’ vehicle parts for recycling or disposal, while in a separate scheme, 10 sites accept businesses’ paid-for commercial waste, from timber to fridges.

Plastic-only payments will also be taken for “Revive” soil conditioner composted from Somerset’s garden waste and sold by every recycling site at £4 for a bag and £10 for three bags.

Payments for domestic asbestos and plasterboard will continue to be made online in advance at the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) website.

A SWP spokesman said: “Thanks to customers and staff, the trials at Chard and Taunton recycling sites have proved a great success.

“If anyone thinks they may have a site payment problem, they should see staff before unloading.

“The switch from cash to cards does not involve any new charges or any changes in prices.”

Information on card payments can be found on flyers and signage at all recycling sites.

Find all details of recycling sites, from opening hours to materials taken and links to lists of charges, here.

Aerosols, barbecues, batteries in bin blaze warning


Gadget users are being urged “don’t bin that battery” and to take other steps to avoid the risk of setting off a blaze in their rubbish bin that could endanger their home and family.

They are among a range of materials – including the remains of portable barbecues, aerosols, broken glass and the contents of ashtrays – that need careful handling to prevent potentially fatal fires.

The warning about aerosols, batteries, barbecues and other materials follows two recent unexplained accidental fires in Somerset; one in a household rubbish bin in Chard that threated to spread to a house and another in refuse added to the landfill site at Dimmer near Castle Cary.

All batteries need care as they hold the potential to “short” and create sparks, while their poisonous chemical cocktail means they should always be recycled rather than sent to landfill.

Many batteries even have a logo of a crossed-out wheeled bin to show that they should never be added to rubbish.

But there are particular concerns about the many lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones, cameras and other portable devices with high power demands.

The power levels and light construction of li-ion batteries brings the risk of a fire or explosion if they get bent, broken or pierced when discarded into rubbish bins or black sacks.

There is a high potential for a blaze that takes days to put out if batteries are crushed in a rubbish truck and buried in a landfill site.

Recent years have seen a number of waste-related incidents, including fires in rubbish bins, refuse trucks and landfill sites, and even blaze deaths. Yet all batteries can be recycled.

Many outlets, from most supermarkets to DIY and electrical stores, take batteries for recycling, and while not yet collected at the kerbside, batteries are taken at all Somerset recycling sites.

A Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) spokesman said: “Batteries are a real fire risk in your rubbish, especially the high power li-ion type, so recycling is the smart and safe option.”

“And, since single-use batteries are a very costly and inefficient power source, better to use the mains or invest in rechargeable batteries to save money, resources and time.”

Batteries are among several waste fire hazards that should not be added to rubbish, including:

  • Hot ash from fires or barbecues, or the not fully extinguished contents of ashtrays; these must be damped down fully or allowed to cool completely.
  • Broken glass that can act as a magnifying lens in landfill if not carefully wrapped.
  • Aerosols that can get hot or be pierced or crushed during collection and landfilling.

As well as recycling all batteries, the advice is simple in each case:

  • Let ash, portable barbecues and the contents of ashtrays completely cool, or fully damp them down with water.
  • Carefully wrap and bag broken glass, which should never go in recycling boxes.
  • Use up aerosols completely, do not squash, discard the caps and tops, and then add to your recycling boxes.

The SWP spokesman added: “Of course, single-use batteries are a very costly and inefficient way to power many devices. Far better is to work electrical equipment off the mains or, if portability is essential, rechargeable batteries are an excellent investment, saving money, resources and time.”

One neat way to collect batteries is to make a “battery box” out of an empty and dry small plastic milk bottle. Leave the top on, cut a hole in the side away from the handle, add batteries as they become spent, and then take them with you when next going to a recycling site or supermarket.

Check here for more about what to recycle, where and how.