SomerPet Waste Partnership welcomes National Pet Month Mark Ford April 1, 2021 Latest News 1 April 2021 – Whether they are furry, feathered or scaly we are a nation of pet lovers. As well as being great companions, pets can pose a few questions and when it comes to waste and recycling. As we enter National Pet Month (1 April – 3 May) National Pet Month – promoting responsible pet ownership across the UK we have brought together some common questions and top tips for pet owners across the county. Whether it is what to do with pet poo or how to dispose of pet pill bottles, check out the answers below. If you have any pet-related waste questions or great ideas for how to reduce, reuse or recycle when it comes to pets, now is the time share them. Post them to our Facebook page @somersetwaste – and feel free to add a photo of your beloved pet for us to share. COMMON QUESTIONS I’ve got lots of pets, can I have some more rubbish bin space? Sorry, but no. We do not provide extra space for the non-recyclable waste they create. You can, of course use our weekly recycling collections dispose of lots of the pet-related item such as food tins and treat boxes. If you need extra recycling boxes, bags or food waste bins use the My Waste Service menu at www.somersetwaste.gov.uk Flexible plastic coverings from food or treats needs to go into your rubbish. What should I do with leftover pet food? Spoilt or uneaten pet food (wet or dry) can be recycled from the kerb. It goes in your food waste bin to be turned into electricity and farm compost. Check out where all our recycling (pet or person generated) goes www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/beyond-the-kerb/ How should I dispose of pet poo? It should be bagged and go in your rubbish bin, and that includes cat litter even if it is made from paper. Double-bagging keeps smell to a minimum and keeps your bin fresh and clean (though the occasional rinse with detergent is a good idea, whether or not you have pets). What should I do with hay, straw and sawdust bedding? If it is from vegetarian animals is can go into your garden waste bin if you subscribe, or a home composter if you have one (more on compost bin offers or how to make compost without a compost bin here https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/home-composting) If your pet is not vegetarian, the bedding needs to go in your rubbish bin, as does bedding from chickens, pigeons and aviary birds. Can I recycle pet food pouches? These are tricky because they are made of flexible plastic and, usually, multiple materials. They should not be put in the kerbside collections (even with the Recycle More service) and cannot be recycled at recycling sites. Some of the big manufacturers are working with Terracycle (an organisation that works individual collectors to recycle some difficult materials) to help you recycle plastic pet food packaging. Their Pet Food Recycling Programme offer some collection points in Somerset (currently Shepton Beauchamp and Yeovil). https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/petfood-uk TOP TIPS No need to bury bones – if you do not like you dog burying bones in your garden, remember you can add these to your brown food waste bin. Recycle those tins – pet food tins, whatever the shape and size, can be recycled through or weekly kerbside collections. Just give them a rinse first. If you have loose lids, make sure you pop them inside the can before putting them out for recycling. It keeps inquisitive animals safe and makes sure our crews do not leave them behind (they can be hard to pick up while wearing thick gloves) Scrunch test your packaging – Not sure if the peel-off lid is foil or plastic? Do the scrunch test. If it stays scrunched, it is foil and can be recycled. If not, then it’s plastic film and not recycled at the kerbside. Throw away less – Buying large tins of pet food is only cheaper if it all gets eaten. Storing the leftovers correctly will keep the food safe and tasty. Put remains from tinned dog or cat food into a reusable plastic tub for the fridge. This stops the food drying out, slows growth of bacteria, and prevents the food reacting with the tin once open to the air. Alternatively, check out pet food sold in portion sizes appropriate for your pet. You can find more ways to cut food waste for all the family at https://lovefoodhatewaste.com/ Want to compost pet poo?… not for everyone, but it can be done with the right equipment. Please DO NOT put pet poo in a standard (cold) composter. You can use a hot-compost bin if you make sure that you keep the contents really hot to kill off the harmful bacteria or micro-organisms. Make sure you follow the supplier’s instructions on use. Do an online search and compare suppliers before you buy. Disposing of pet pill bottles – Empty plastic pill bottles can go in our kerbside recycling collections. Empty plastic pill pots or tubs are accepted on Recycle More collections (currently Mendip only). For any empty medicine blister packs, Terracycle is working with pharmacies to offer collection points across the country, mapped here: https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/medicine-packet-uk Talk to your vet about safe disposal of any unused pet medicines.