Recycling collections

The standard recycling collection service for most households (excluding communal properties) is weekly for recycling and food waste.

You can check your collection days online with the My Collection Day search engine on the home page.

If your recycling collection has been missed you can report it online after 7pm on the due day and within three working days (not including the initial collection day itself) with the My Waste Services pull-down menu on the home page.

Replacement recycling containers. You can do it online with the My Waste Services pull-down menu on the home page.

Recycling works – Somerset Waste Partnership’s annual Recycling Tracker tells you exactly what has happened to every tonne of recycling you recycled – where it went, what it became and how much it saved. 


What is collected with Recycle More 

For full details of what is collected and some top tips, click here

Bright Blue Bag

  • Plastic bottles – please rinse, squash, put caps and tops back on. Discard pumps and trigger sprays, e.g. from soap bottles and cleaning sprays.
  • Plastic pots, tubs and trays – any colour.
  • Tins and cans, steel or Aluminium, rinsed and squashed if possible – no need to remove labels – please place loose can lids inside squashed cans; all other metal items should be taken to any recycling site.
  • Aluminium foil – rinsed and scrunched, not if plastic or paper backed.
  • Aerosolsonly recycle empty, and do not pierce or squash.

Box 1 (usually green)

  • Glass bottles and jars, rinsed and unbroken – no table or cook ware, put metal and plastic tops and lids back on.
  • Cartons, such as Tetra Paks – please rinse, squash and put any caps back on.

Box 2 (usually black)

  • Paper, newspapers, magazines, leaflets, directories, white envelopes (no need to remove windows) and other white paper.
  • Cardboard that is brown corrugated, grey card, greetings cards and brown envelopes – please flatten.  Small bits of card can be put into larger boxes before flattening – cut or tear up large pieces.  Please remember, large boxes or large pieces should be taken to a recycling site and may not be collected at the kerbside.

Plastic bags (not black sacks)

  • Small household batteries, in a small tied bag.
  • Small electrical items (not TVs or monitors, no light bulbs except Christmas lights) – no bigger than carrier bag, in an untied bag (not black sack)

Food waste bin

  • All food waste, cooked or raw.

***IMPORTANT: kerbside collection of textiles, clothes, shoes has changed. Clothes and shoes must be good enough to be worn again. Textiles – bedding, curtains, throws – are NO LONGER TAKEN. Full details here. Tie wearable clothes and shoes in a carrier bag – not a black sack – to keep them completely dry and put out on top of your recycling boxes. 

Very little to recycle? You can use one box if that is all you need. Awaiting container delivery? Sort items carefully into the containers you have with any extra materials in carrier bags (not black rubbish sacks) alongside. All recycle materials can be taken to any recycle site, though not all sites can recycle all materials. Check what taken at which sites:

These items are never taken in a kerbside recycling collection – do not put these out in your recycling.

  • Compostable or biodegradable packaging – these can’t be recycled with SWP’s food or garden waste collections
  • Broken glass or (broken or unbroken) light bulbs. Unbroken low-energy light bulbs can be taken to any recycle site.
  • Glass that is not a bottle or jar, such as mirrors, drinking glasses, Pyrex, vases.
  • Old or unused wall paper
  • Shiny, thermal paper, as used for many till receipts
  • Plastic films and wrappers, for example crisp packets, pet food pouches, film lids, bread bags (Many supermarkets now collect soft plastics)
  • Syringes, knives and other sharp objects
  • Metal kitchenware, such as saucepans, baking trays, cutlery
  • 5 litre large beer kegs
  • Old metal tools
  • Nappies and pet excrement
  • Large quantities of cardboard or excessively large kerbside boxes – please take to a recycling centre
  • Single-use “paper” cups – take these to a recycling centre
  • Textiles which are not wearable clothes or shoes – please take to charity shop or textile bank.

Textiles which are not wearable clothes or shoes – please take to charity shop or donation.

Report any missed recycle collections with the My Waste Services pull-down menu on the home page.

Unless you have an assisted collection, containers should be at the edge of your property by 7am on collection day (as collection times can vary) and no earlier than the night before. Please take care not to obstruct pavements or roads, and take bins back in as soon as possible after collections.

Please separate and sort materials into your kerbside boxes. You can use one box if that is all you need or you can request additional or replacement boxes with the My Waste Services pull-down menu on the home page.

Only use carrier bags for wearable clothes and shoes, shredded paper, or small electrical items or batteries. Never use black sacks for recycling as these may be mistaken for rubbish.

Collection crews pick up materials they drop or spill, but cannot pick up those blown down the street.

We do not supply lids for recycling boxes. To assist with storage between collection, stretch covers are available to buy.  See Stretch covers for boxes.

More materials can be taken for recycling at recycling sites, including cooking oil, engine oil, light bulbs, wood and metals. And you can take other items to collection points at some shops, such as spectacles to opticians and inhalers to pharmacies.

Security and identity theft

Destruction of confidential or sensitive materials, such as by shredding, is a vital precaution before adding them to a recycling box, as kerbside collections and the recycling process are not designed to be a secure disposal route.

While much of the concern about identity theft has moved to the risks of online cybercrime, in the past the police have warned Somerset residents about suspicious individuals spotted looking through recycling boxes at night.

As the police and government advise, householders should take steps to avoid fraud or identity theft. Credit cards and similar items must be fully cut up, while documents that could be misused should be destroyed, preferable by shredder.

These can include bank statements, credit card receipts, utility and tax bills, pay slips, old driving licences or passports, as well as CVs and items with signatures or National Insurance numbers.

Even seemingly innocuous material – such as received mail with your name and address – can be misused when combined with other forms of ID.

For example, warning that “identity fraudsters don’t need much information in order to be able to clone your identity,” the police National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre urges consumers to “destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and post with your name and address on”.

Shredded paper can be left out in a tied carrier bag,

If large amounts of papers need destruction, residents may wish to use the SWP business directory and other sources to find companies offering confidential waste services.

More on ID risk can be found at the National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre and the Stop ID Fraud site (NB: the latter is sponsored by a shredding company).