All recycling sites take plastic food pots, tubs and trays Nick Cater May 15, 2018 The biggest change to plastics recycling in Somerset in almost a decade is underway at the county’s 16 recycling sites. Every recycling site is now taking plastic food pots, tubs and trays – the rigid plastic containers for yoghurt, margarine, fruit and other foods – as well as all plastic bottles. Just look for the new signs on the plastic bottle skips at all recycling sites. Among the items taken in the plastic bottle and PTT skips will be black plastic food trays, but for all items residents must: • Remove all foil, film covers, and cardboard attached to or enclosing the PTT. • Discard all lids, flip-caps and trigger-tops from plastic bottles. • Rinse out food residues or other contents, and squash items to fit more in each skip. They must also exclude: • Thin plastics, such as cling film, carrier bags, black sacks, or bubble wrap. • Plastic plant or paint pots, with or without any contents. • Other plastics, such as plastic toys, CD cases, garden furniture or car parts. Residents who do not already regularly use recycling sites are reminded that they are all far less busy early on weekdays, while 11 sites stay open to 7pm on late-night Mondays. While taking extra plastics at the kerbside is still some time away, the new service at recycling sites is a leap forward in Somerset Waste Partnership’s 2020 vision for the planned transformation of waste services over the next two years. From 2020, it is planned to roll out in phases the new “Recycle More” weekly kerbside collections in a new fleet of recycling vehicles, which will take all the extra bulky but light plastics. There will also be three-weekly collections of the far emptier refuse bins. And 2020 will also see the end of landfilling rubbish in Somerset. Rubbish will be taken to a resource recovery centre in Avonmouth to generate electricity. Between now and 2020, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) will be specifying and buying the new recycling vehicles, re-developing the depots so they can cope with all the additional recycling, and finding the right contractor to deliver the changes. The move to take rigid plastic food pots, tubs and trays – known as PTT – at all 16 recycling sites follows successful trials of taking extra plastics in kerbside collections and accepting such plastics at a small number of sites to check the quality and monitor levels of contamination from unwanted materials. Earlier this year, 12 of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites began taking single-use coffee cups, with their layers of plastic and card, in the same skips that already take beverage cartons, such as Tetra Pak and other brands. And as part of its wider work with schools, SWP has begun a Schools Against Waste programme across 90 primary schools, will be promoting free water refills in local food outlets, and is offering a plastics pledge card with simple tips and information. A SWP spokesman said: “Taking plastic food pots, tubs and trays at all recycling sites is a big step forward while the essential work continues for the phased launch of the planned Recycle More weekly kerbside collections of this range of plastic packaging from 2020. “At the same time, we are working with councils, companies, campaigning groups and schools to help people cut their waste by using less plastic and recycling far more of the plastic they buy when shopping.” Click here for details of all recycling sites, including opening hours and what materials each site takes, and here for more on kerbside recycling.