Recycle More – helping you to waste less

UPDATE: Somerset Waste Partnership has paused the introduction of the new Recycle More service, due to disruption and delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


As the transformation of all Somerset waste services continues into 2020, Recycle More is the next big leap forward in driving up recycling in the county.

The change will see a range of new materials added to weekly recycling collections: household and food plastic pots, tubs and trays; food and drink cartons; household batteries; and small electrical items.

With so much being taken out of the waste bin each week, the frequency of rubbish collection can be reduced to every three weeks.

Garden waste and clinical waste collections will remain unchanged. Collections from flats will remain unchanged, except that some extra materials may be collected.

Extra advice and support will be available for families using nappies and similar hygiene products.

The upgraded service will be rolling out across the county in phases from summer 2020, starting with most homes in Mendip. All residents will be sent full information well ahead of the change in their area. See map, below.

Even before Recycle More starts rolling out, a new contractor will begin work with a new fleet of collection trucks, and Somerset will switch from landfilling all its rubbish within the county to sending most for resource recovery at a new plant in Avonmouth, pumping energy into the national grid.

Between now and then, we are building the new trucks, with space to carry the thousands of tonnes of new materials, redeveloping the depots across Somerset so they can cope with all the additional recycling, training all staff, and monitoring the new energy from waste plant being built.

Recycle More phases: borders are not exact. Every home will be sent full details well ahead of time – UPDATE: Somerset Waste Partnership has paused the introduction of the new Recycle More service, due to disruption and delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every week: All paper, cardboard, food waste, food and drink cans, aerosols, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, aluminium foil, textiles (unstuffed), clothes and shoes, plus:

  • Household and food plastic pots, tubs and trays
  • Tetra Paks and other beverage cartons
  • Small electrical items
  • Household batteries


Many of us want to recycle more, and we also know from checking what people put in their rubbish bins that, right now, half the rubbish thrown away could simply and easily be recycled in today’s kerbside collections.

No one in Somerset can afford to continue like this, wasting millions of pounds throwing away thousands of tonnes of recyclable materials.

Disposing of rubbish is expensive, recycling is far cheaper. Every resident of Somerset has to think about what that means. Do we want to recycle more or would we like more money available for public parks, street cleaning, services for children and disabled people? Do we want to recycle more and keep council tax down, or let costs rise?

We also need to think about the resources we throw away. Every time people throw a food can or a plastic bottle in their rubbish bin it can never come back, and those natural resources will not last forever.

Recycling more is a simple, easy option for all of us and just takes a few minutes each week. Endless rubbish is an expensive and dirty luxury none of us can afford.

We trialled the service in over one thousand homes for several months to make sure it could work. Yes, a few people were initially concerned that they would not manage, but that soon switched to surprise at how little was left in their rubbish bin. By the end of the trial, 86% of the people who responded to our surveys told us they preferred Recycle More.

We are far from being the first. Three-weekly rubbish collections for millions of people are already running successfully in many other areas up and down the country, including our neighbours in East Devon  and more are planning to make the change.

There is an optional new container: a base-weighted fold-flat tough bag. As now, you will be able to order replacement or additional containers free of charge.

As more material will be collected every week and less left in rubbish bins, there will be no reason – or any excuse – for fly-tipping. When we tested the service in 1,100 Somerset households, it did not happen.

The most common items fly-tipped are bulky household items, such as old sofas, and commercial waste dumped by rogue tradespeople. No changes are planned to current bulky waste collection services or recycling site services.

We will also continue to offer commercial waste recycling services at 10 recycling sites, advise businesses about the facilities available, and offer information on business waste collections.



As well as continuing to take food waste every week, we will start taking much more food packaging every week that might have attracted pests, so Recycle More should help matters, not make them worse.

As always, we advise you to bag items like nappies, adult hygiene products and pet wastes before putting them in your refuse bin.

We will be taking this very seriously because we want everyone to be able to use our services with the minimum of fuss.

Well before your property joins the Recycle More collection scheme, we will send you a complete guide to the new service and a collection calendar. This will also be available online, in other languages and can be supplied in other formats on request (for example audio versions).

We are also planning an app so mobile phone users can get collection day reminders. Along with improvements to our website, most people will have the information just a few clicks away.

Before we launch the service in your area, there will be staff available to answer your questions and address any concerns. We are only ever a phone call or email away.