Important: Recycling sites network open on winter hours

Recycle More – helping you to waste less

Recycle More is now up and running in Mendip (and only Mendip). As well as lots of extra recycling collected every week, it means three-weekly rubbish collections and changed collection days for some.

If you live in Mendip, make sure you put your rubbish and recycling out for collection on the right day.

Click here for your guide to what goes where with Recycle More.

Check the individual collection day calendar that was part of your “Recycle More is coming soon” leaflet.

Or check your collection days online and download a calendar to your computer or mobile device:

Check now

If you’re looking for our FAQ section please Click Here.


Recycle More is a new kerbside service, adding new materials to weekly recycling collections: household and food plastic pots, tubs and trays; food and drink cartons; small household batteries; and small electrical items.

With so much more recycled each week, rubbish will be collected every three weeks. Extra advice and support will be available for families using nappies and similar hygiene products.

Recycle More will roll out across the county in phases:

  • Phase 1 all households in Mendip – end October/early November 2020
  • Phase 2 all households in South Somerset – end of June/early July 2021
  • Phase 3 Somerset West & Taunton (Taunton Deane area) – end September/early October 2021
  • Phase 4 Sedgemoor and Somerset West & Taunton (West Somerset area) – end February/early March 2022

All residents will be sent full information well ahead of the change in their area, starting with the first “Get ready for Recycle More” leaflet six weeks ahead (see four images on this page). Garden waste and clinical waste collections remain unchanged.

You can view and download a printable version of the “Get ready for Recycle More” four-page leaflet here.

You can view and download a copy of the ‘Recycle More is coming soon’ leaflet here. Note, each leaflet delivered will have collection dates specific to where you live plus a great what-goes-where guide to materials and containers.


What Recycle More will recycle

Every week: all existing materials – including food waste, paper, card, cans, aerosols, foil, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles – plus:

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


New for you, the Bright Blue

Lighter recycling materials will go in a fold-flat Velcro-closed tough Bright Blue Bag. As now, you will be able to order replacement or additional containers free online 24/7 by signing up for and using your My Account.


How to be ready, now

Recycle More is an important change, and you can be ready for it right now, wherever you live.

Make sure you have all the right containers – green box, black box, brown food bin, and rubbish bin – now and not later. Missing any? Never use other containers; order the right ones with your My Account here.

Recycle all food, every scrap, and all the other materials – the details here in our complete guide.

Check what you can drop off when passing recycling sites – all the details and opening days/hours here.

Then see the difference Recycle More will make:

  • Recycle all you can kerbside
  • Store separately or take to a recycling site all the materials taken weekly in Recycle More
  • Check your rubbish bin after one, two and three weeks

Finally, consider if there are ways you could reduce the amount of rubbish left in your bin or black sacks, from high street recycling of plastic bags to reusable nappies and hot composting.


Somerset residents back Recycle More

Trials of Recycle More for well over 1,000 Somerset families of all shapes, sizes and housing, including large families and those with children in nappies, took place for months to make sure it would work. A few residents 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 survey made clear they preferred Recycle More.

Somerset is far from being the first to make this change. Extra recycling and 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. More are planning to make the change.


No extra fly-tipping or other issues

More waste taken each week as recycling and less rubbish left to collect means there is no reason – or excuse – for fly-tipping. In the trial with 1,000+ 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, and offer information on business waste collections.

As well as continuing to take food waste every week, much more food packaging will be taken every week that might have attracted pests, so Recycle More will help. As always, we advise you to bag items like nappies, adult hygiene products and pet wastes before putting them in your refuse bin.


Support on offer to all

Well before Recycle More starts where you live, we will send you a complete guide to the new service and a collection calendar, which will also be available online, and there will be staff available to answer your questions and address any concerns.

Meanwhile, Mendip residents can log on to quiz Somerset Waste Partnership about Recycle More with Facebook Q&A sessions and online Talking Cafes.

The next Q&As session at is:

  • Thursday 29 October 7pm-8pm

SWP has also taken part in Recycle More discussions as part of two Mendip Talking Café Live events run by the Community Council for Somerset (CCS).

Visit to watch the recorded sessions.


We can all Recycle More

Most people in Somerset recycle and want to do more.

Despite this, when Somerset Waste Partnership checks what people put in their rubbish bins, it shows that half the rubbish thrown away could simply and easily be recycled in today’s kerbside collections with no changes or new services.

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. Recycle More is the next big leap forward.


Q: Why Recycle More?

A: Most people in Somerset recycle. The new service makes it easier for everyone to recycle even more, reducing waste, protecting the environment and helping tackle climate change. Somerset has a really good recycling record, but we can do better. Half the average Somerset rubbish bin could have been recycled. More recycling is cheaper, too. The new service will cost around £2m less each year.


Q: When are things changing?

A: It depends where you live. Recycle More starts in four phases over around 18 months, based largely on district council areas. We’ll review it as we go, so dates may move, but this is our current schedule:


  • Phase 1 Mendip – end October/early November 2020
  • Phase 2 South Somerset – end of June/early July 2021
  • Phase 3 Somerset West & Taunton (Taunton Deane area) – end September/early October 2021
  • Phase 4 Sedgemoor and Somerset West & Taunton (West Somerset area) – end February/early March 2022


Q: Why not at once? Why must I wait?

A: It is an important change and phases make it more manageable than doing 260,000 households in one go. We are introducing the new service to a new area as each of our five depots is upgraded to handle the extra recycling, something difficult to do all at once without disrupting services. There is a lot for residents to get used to – more recycling, new recycling container, changes to what goes where, and new collection days for many. We need time to give everyone the support they need.

Q: What are the new kerbside materials?

A: You’ll be able to recycle the following every week, along with everything that can already be recycled.

  • Plastic pots, tubs and trays
  • Food and drinks cartons (including Tetra Pak)
  • Small household batteries
  • Small electrical items, such as kettles or toasters


Q: Does Recycle More mean I can recycle ALL plastics from my kerbside?

A: Sadly not. There are still some plastics we cannot collect because they are very difficult to recycle. These include crisp packets, cling film, the cellophane that covers many plastic tubs and trays. Remove and discard these before putting the recyclables in your Bright Blue Bag. You may be able to find ways of disposing of these and other hard-to-recycle materials through


Q: Should I remove bottle tops?

A: No, rinse and squash plastic bottles, then put the top back on. Rinse glass bottles and jars, and replace the tops.


Q: What is classed as a small electrical item?

A: Any electrical item – if it has or had a plug or batteries – that fits into a carrier bag. For example: kettles, irons, toasters, mobile phones and laptops. These should be kept dry in the bag and left out beside your recycling containers.

Q: Where will I put all this extra recycling?

A: Most goes in a new recycling container – a Bright Blue Bag, delivered shortly before the new service starts. It has a 60-litre capacity, is bottom weighted so it won’t blow away and has a Velcro-fastening. It is for plastics and metals:

  • Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • Food and drink tins and cans
  • Foil and aerosols

(If at any time you do not have the Bright Blue Bag, put its materials into your black box.)


Q: How do I get my Bright Blue Bag?

A: We will deliver them to all households over the two weeks before you need it for the launch of the service on 26 October.


Q: Won’t the bag and contents blow away in high winds?

A: They are based-weighted so should not blow away. The lid is Velcro fastened which keeps the contents inside. When we trialled the bags in Somerset, they worked well, as do similar bags elsewhere.

Q: Will the same things go into my green and black boxes?

A: No. With the new service you need to sort your recycling as follows:

  • Blue Bag – plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, food and drink tins and cans, foil and aerosols
  • Green box – glass bottles and jars, and cartons (such as Tetra Pak)
  • Black box – paper and cardboard
  • Brown food waste bin – cooked and uncooked food waste
  • Carrier bag – small household batteries and small electrical items

(If at any time you do not have the Bright Blue Bag, put its materials into your black box. NEVER put materials from your green box, black box or food waste bin into your Bright Blue Bag.)


Q: How can I get more recycling containers?

A: Order extra or replacement recycling containers online; details at


Q: Why not just sort the recycling at the depot?

A: Even the best depot sorting technology cannot compete with the combination of householder sorting, supported by collection crews as they load on to the truck.

Well-sorted, clean materials are in demand from the companies that turn them into new products and packaging. Kerbside recycling works best, keeps costs down and is better for your environment.


Q: What happens to the recycling and rubbish after collection? Is it sent to other countries?

A: 90% of Somerset’s recycling stays in the UK, with more than 50% staying in Somerset. You can find out more through our ‘Beyond the kerb’ analysis If there is UK recycling demand and capacity, 100% will stay in the UK in future. Recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products and packaging, while all food waste is sent to a local anaerobic digestion plant to generate electricity for the national grid and farm compost for food production. Any kerbside rubbish and most material that cannot be recycled at recycling sites goes to an energy-from-waste plant in Avonmouth to generate electricity and heat.

Q: What about people who worry they won’t cope with three-weekly collections?

A: In our large long-term Somerset trials, the new service worked well. Millions of people already have three-weekly rubbish collections, including our near neighbours in east Devon. Recycle More’s extra recycling leaves less to throw away and emptier rubbish bins, so everyone needs to make full use of weekly recycling. Make sure you have all the recycling containers you need and give the new service a go. In trials and elsewhere, people with initial concerns usually found that the service worked well. If you are struggling, get back in touch and we can arrange a call or visit from a Waste Management Officer.


Q: How do I request extra space for my rubbish?

A: Extra space will only be provided if it is essential. If you think three-weekly rubbish collections will be a problem because you have a large family, children in nappies or a medical need, make sure you get in touch. We will assess your circumstances and can arrange a call or visit from a Waste Management Officer to talk things through and help. You can request additional rubbish capacity by calling your district council Customer Service team or emailing Or, you can do it through the My Account function on the SWP website If you live in Mendip you can request it online here


Q: What help is there for people who have children in nappies?

A: Anyone who has concerns about whether they can manage with three weekly rubbish collections, whatever the reason, can request extra rubbish bin capacity. We will assess your circumstances, including whether a household has children in nappies, and can arrange a call or visit from a Waste Management Officer to talk things through and help. We will only provide extra space if it is essential and we would encourage everyone to make sure they are making full use of the weekly recycling collections before making a request. We also encourage people to consider reusable nappy products and are providing funds to three projects in Somerset that help people make the switch.


Q: Even with the extra recycling, I think three weeks is too long. What should I do?

A: In our trials we found that three-weekly rubbish collections worked well for the majority of people. Similar collections are working well for many people elsewhere in the UK – more than 1.5 milliion households. Even people with initial concerns usually find that it is not a problem once they have tried the new service. It is important to make sure you have all the right containers and make full use of the weekly recycling collections to free up space in your rubbish bin or black sacks. Anyone with concerns about managing with three-weekly rubbish collections can request extra rubbish bin capacity, but we will only provide it if it’s essential.

Q: Will my collection day change? If so, how will I know?

A: Collection days will change for around a third of Mendip households due to the more efficient rerouting of rounds. Two to three weeks before the service starts, your household will be sent a leaflet with your individual collection day calendar. That calendar will show all collection days, including your first Recycle More recycling collection with the Bright Blue Bag and extra materials. Some households will also get an extra, one-off rubbish collection so no-one goes more than three weeks without a rubbish collection; if this affects you, it will be shown in your collection day calendar.


Q: Is this going to affect garden waste, clinical waste or assisted collections?

A: Garden waste and clinical waste collections and their collection days will stay the same. Assisted collections (when crews help people with their recycling and rubbish) will continue but on the new collection days.

Q: What is changing for people with communal recycling collections?

A: The plan is to add more recycling to households with communal collections, but it won’t be until early 2021 in Mendip. What’s possible will vary for each site, depending on space. Before anything changes, we will be in touch to make clear what will happen.


Q: I have a communal rubbish collection, but some of my recycling is collected weekly; will that change?

A: Weekly recycling collections will continue. You will receive a letter before Recycle More starts, explaining any changes to your collection days.