Mendip upgrade makes Recycle More possible

Mendip upgrade makes Recycle More possible

16 October, 2020 –

An upgraded depot that will help transform recycling in Somerset was formally opened this week.

New baling machines, more storage space and expanded collection bays are all part of the £3m expansion and improvement of Somerset Waste Partnership’s Evercreech depot in Mendip.

The investment will allow it to cater for the extra recycling expected once Recycle More launches in the district at the end of the month.

Members of the Somerset Waste Board were given a tour to see the development first-hand. They were joined by the High Sheriff of Somerset, Mary-Clare Rodwell, who lives locally and has a keen interest in SWP’s work to reduce waste and encourage recycling.

The expanded recycling service is being introduced to 51,000-plus homes across Mendip in the two weeks starting 26 October. As well as protecting the environment and helping tackle climate change, it will cost around £2m less a year.

Mendip is the only area getting Recycle More this year, with the rest of the county due to follow in three phases over the next 18 months.

The service is being introduced to new areas as depots are upgraded to handle the extra recycling, something difficult to do all at once without disrupting services.

Serving all of Mendip and parts of South Somerset, Evercreech is the biggest of SWP’s five depots which are together seeing £7m investment to make the new service possible.

The depots are where Somerset’s fleet of recycling collection trucks – operated by SWP’s collections contractor SUEZ – unload. Materials are then baled and sent off to be reprocessed into new products and packaging.

Almost 28,000 tonnes of recycling were handled at Evercreech last year. This includes 1,528 tonnes of plastic – a figure expected to rise dramatically once Recycle More starts.

Recycle More is adding the following to weekly kerbside recycling collections:

  • Plastic pots, tubs and trays
  • Food and drink cartons such as Tetra Pak
  • Small batteries and small electrical items

New containers – a Bright Blue Bag – are being delivered to homes across Mendip to help hold the extra recycling. With more recycling collected kerbside every week, rubbish will be collected every three weeks instead of every two.

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of Somerset Waste Board, said: “Recycle More is almost here and it will be an important change for everyone in Mendip.

“People will have to do things a little differently and I’m sure the new materials and Bright Blue Bag will soon be part of everyone’s weekly routine.”

Mary-Clare Rodwell, the High Sheriff of Somerset, said: “I think most people want to recycle because they think it’s the right thing to do. The new service will make it easier for people to do the right thing and I sense a big appetite for that in Mendip.

“The improvements to the depot are impressive and are what makes all that possible, so the opening is an important milestone reached.”

James Pike, SUEZ’s Regional Director for the South West, said: “Our teams have worked very hard to ensure works were completed on time and the facility was ready for the roll out of Recycle More later this month. We are delighted with the changes to the depot and look forward to delivering a high-quality service for people across the county.”