New fleet signals bright future for Somerset recycling Mark Ford March 27, 2020 Latest News A fleet of multicoloured trucks will take to Somerset’s streets from Monday, paving the way for a new era of recycling in the county. Somerset Waste Partnership’s new contract for recycling and rubbish collection is bringing the latest industry equipment and technology to the county. The fleet of 140 vehicles are around 30% more efficient than their predecessors and features brightly-coloured recycling trucks and rubbish collection lorries covered with stunning images from around the county. The switch comes at a time when Coronavirus is depleting crews and disrupting some collections. The high-tech new fleet will help cope with the pressures and keep collections running as best they can in these unprecedented circumstances. In-cab technology, including GPS tracking and constantly updated route maps with the details of each property’s recycling and waste needs, will help crews do their job more efficiently and reliably. The vehicles will follow more efficient, ‘optimised’ routes and boast a hoist and compactor system that allows them to take far more cardboard and plastic. Eventually they’ll be collecting the wider range of plastics that will be recyclable from the kerbside, but for the time being only the usual plastic bottles should be put out for collection. Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of the Somerset Waste Partnership, said: “It’s a difficult time for a new contractor to take over, but the crews will be the same and the new equipment can only help us in this tough time. “Most people in Somerset are already recycling and this contract will make it easier for people to do even more. Eventually we’ll be able to collect much more from kerbsides, including almost all plastics, but in the meantime it’s important that everyone keeps on recycling what they’re already recycling and follows national advice on how to safely dispose of potentially Covid-19 infected waste.” The latest guidance on how to dispose of potentially contaminated waste, and the latest updates on SWP services visit www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus Vice Chair, Cllr Clare Paul added: “The new contract means improvements across the board and we’re all very excited about seeing it in action. In the short term it can only help us deal with the current crisis, and in the long-term it will help turn Somerset’s very good recycling record into a great one.” The new contract will see host of improvements to help the county’s 250,000 households reduce waste, recycle more and protect our environment. As well as improving Somerset’s already impressive recycling record – ranked seventh-best nationally for carbon saving through recycling – the new contract is expected to cost around £2m less every year. Savings that SWP’s member councils can spend on other vital services. Provided by Suez, the new service will see recycling expanded for schools and communal properties like flats and houses of multiple occupancy. Crucially, it will eventually allow people to recycle a wider range of material from their kerbsides with the new Recycle More service. Steve Holgate, SUEZ’s Director of Municipal Services, said: “We are delighted to be working with Somerset Waste Partnership, providing recycling and rubbish collection services in the county. Our expertise and the latest vehicle technology will be very valuable to continue delivering these essential services during the challenging conditions we are facing currently.” Under the new contract, SWP expects all recycled plastics to stay in the UK and once a new Energy from Waste facility opens shortly in Avonmouth, no Somerset waste will be going to landfill. For more information about Somerset’s recycling and waste services visit somersetwaste.gov.uk and follow @somersetwaste on Facebook and Twitter.