SWP services and weather

Please check our essential advice on weather and waste, below. In severe weather, updates are posted on SWP’s website here, and on the SomersetWaste Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Click here  to check MetOffice South West weather warnings; click here for Environment Agency flood information; click here for flood alert map; check here for travel disruption and road works that could affect collections.

General missed collections principles

• If your kerbside collection is missed, please report this via your local council customer services. Crews will return within two working days.  Please ensure your bins and boxes are all out by 7am on your collection day and no earlier than the night before.  Please note that some collection times may vary.
• During periods of severe weather put out missed containers by 7am for up to four calendar days for recycling, and up to seven calendar days for rubbish/garden waste. If still no collection, take containers back in and put them out by 7am on the next usual collection day.
• Please assist anyone elderly, infirm or disabled with containers or in taking excess materials to recycling sites, during periods of severe weather.
• The start of collection times may vary to assist collection crews during severe weather.  We will publicise any changes via our website or on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

• In the event of severe weather, with snow, ice, floods or other conditions disrupting waste and recycling collection services, the following general principles will apply.
• Somerset Waste Partnership will try to maintain services, if this can be done safely, in general from gritted roads or those assessed as safe by the collection vehicle driver. Among key factors that apply are: road conditions, access past parked cars, risks to public or crews.
• In severe weather, collection services may be delayed or suspended, and recycling centres may close at short notice.
• If a collection is missed in severe weather, crews will make a return pick-up as soon as possible as conditions improve. Crews will work late and on Saturdays to catch up if conditions allow.
• Put out missed containers by 7am for up to four calendar days for recycling, and up to seven calendar days for rubbish/garden waste. If still no collection, take containers back in and put them out by 7am on the next usual collection day.
• Working days for catch-ups will normally be week days, but may include Saturdays, if possible, when there has been a lot of disruption to services.
• Extra waste will be accepted alongside containers. Put rubbish in black sacks, recycling in carrier bags and food in covered buckets or with rubbish.
• To help your crew work swiftly and efficiently, sort and roughly segregate materials in your boxes, without using carrier bags. Squash all except glass and aerosols to reduce the risk of light items, such as plastic bottles or drinks cans, being blown out of boxes. Stack boxes with the locked food waste bin on top.
• Bulky waste and garden waste collections may be suspended to help maintain rubbish and recycling collections, as per the collection service terms and conditions. If there are delays to paid-for garden waste collections, options include home composting, taking garden waste to any open recycling site, or storing materials. Clinical waste collections will restart as soon as possible.
• Check when recycling sites are open near your routes to work or leisure.
• Finally, do help friends, family and neighbours to recycle more, waste less and save money. Pass on good advice, let them know about changes in services, and help anyone elderly, infirm or disabled with containers (and remind them about our assisted collections service) or in taking excess materials to recycling sites, especially during periods of severe weather.
• Where possible, clear snow and ice from pavements yourself – click here for the government advice – which helps pedestrians, kerbside collectors and your postperson.

To find your nearest recycling centre and to check usual opening hours, click here.

Avoid unnecessary travel during severe weather.  These recycling sites are open for refuse and all kerbside recycling materials unless forced to close at short notice due to the weather.  If food waste must be discarded, double bag and place in “cannot recycle here” skip.

If it is forecast to be windy, make sure your recycling and rubbish does not become a mess for your neighbours.

Top tips: rinse and squash all containers except glass and aerosols, stack recycling boxes with the locked food waste bin on top, or cover and weigh down boxes. Put out bins and boxes as close to 7am as possible, somewhere sheltered but still clearly visible.

Not got much to put out? Consider saving it to next week. Got a lot to go? If you have space, consider storing the excess until next time, or if you have time and transport, consider taking it all to a recycling site.

You have a legal duty of care to look after your waste, so until it is collected, it remains your responsibility, even if it has been blown down the street.

If our crews drop waste or make a mess, they are required to clear it up – report any problems to your local council customer services ASAP – but they have no time to be litter pickers or street cleaners.

In periods of long-term hot summer weather, collection services may commence from 6am to assist the collection crews working in protective clothing.  We will publicise any introduction of earlier collection starts via our Facebook page and Twitter Feed and will post a message on our website.

If earlier collection starts are introduced, collection crews will be reminded to keep the noise down.

See our Food Waste Collections guide for advice on flies during hot weather.

During periods of excessive heat, collections crews may have to take additional refreshment breaks and they appreciate offers of cool drinks.

Following periods of severe rainfall, localised flooding may, with little notice, affect collection services or access to recycling centres.  Recycling sites may have to close with little notice.  Updates will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page and Twitter Feed.

For updates on travel across Somerset, visit https://www.travelsomerset.co.uk/