Free permits, allowing access to all Somerset recycling sites, were introduced for certain vehicles from Monday 3 October 2016 (with some changes from 30 June 2017 after a review of the first six months’ operation) to tackle a range of problems at sites. As long as you have your permit displayed they do not limit time or frequency of visit, or which site you choose. Congestion, out-of-county visitors and illegal commercial waste have created problems for customers at recycling sites, put safety and efficiency at risk, and driven up operating costs. Permits help tackle this by reducing congestion, improving services and enhancing safety. Similar schemes have been introduced in many other local authorities including all of Somerset’s neighbouring authorities in North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire. IMPORTANT UPDATE: If you have an existing permit or are applying for a permit before the end of September 2019, no need to worry; the scheme is being rolled on with no changes. All existing and new cards will remain valid unless any key details – such as your address or vehicle – change. Only then do you need to apply for a new free permit and destroy the old card. The only thing changing is that those applying will get a different coloured card with no expiry date.