Waste and recycling updates
This page contains advice and information about how coronavirus is affecting waste and recycling services in South Somerset.
For the latest updates, visit Somerset Waste Partnership.
We will regularly update this page with the latest information, so please use the dropdowns below for further advice, including checking for daily updates.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Update 16 September - Textiles and kerbside collections
Somerset Waste Partnership have confirmed that kerbside collections have resumed for clothes and shoes good enough to be worn again.
No textiles, such as bedding, curtains etc, will be taken.
Poorer items could have home uses – such as cleaning rags – or be put in the rubbish to generate electricity.
The changes reflect the decline of the global second-hand market caused by COVID-19 and disposable fashion.
Update 29 June - Issues with waste services & update on recycling sites
Issues with waste services
We are currently experiencing problems with our waste services due to a change in contractors at the Somerset Waste Partnership.
The Somerset Waste Partnership is working as hard as it can with its contractor to put these right but we understand that our customers are being affected and frustrated by these delays.
Our Customer Connect team will do all it can to help with your enquiries as quickly as possible and we would like to ask for your patience as we will do our best to help.
Some of these failures are outside of our control. Please be assured we are working with Somerset Waste Partnership to improve the service to you.
Recycling sites update
All ‘business as usual’ items are now being accepted across Somerset Waste Partnership’s recycling centres.
All 16 sites can now take cardboard, as well as commercial waste and other waste you pay to dispose of – including tyres, gas bottles, soil and hardcore, vehicle parts, plasterboard and asbestos (card payment only).
‘Shop-style’ social distancing is in place and sites are at times busy. SWP is encouraging people to only come if they really need to and make sure they use their weekly recycling collections – which include cardboard - wherever possible.
Trailers and vans can now access the sites at any time during opening hours, as long as they have the appropriate permit.
All sites are open for their usual summer hours. They are busiest first thing in the morning and quieter between 4pm and 6pm.
Update 20 June - Recycling sites
Visitors to Somerset Waste Partnership’s recycling centres will find ‘shop-style’ social distancing arrangements in place from 20 June.
Floor markings and other extra signs are being introduced to all 16 sites in the coming days. The set-up will be similar to that seen in supermarkets and other shops, with visitors expected to take responsibility for keeping themselves and others safe.
Sites were closed in March in response to COVID-19 and reopened in May with extra staff and barriers on hand to make sure social distancing was followed and to control access to waste skips.
This extra staffing has been gradually phased out and over the course of the next week, starting on Saturday 20 June, barriers will be removed.
Other safety and access restrictions remain in place:
- Gloves to be worn when outside the vehicle
- Maximum of two people per household
- Trailers and 3.5 tonne vans only allowed between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays
- Lifting assistance not available
There will be a further update when all sites can take the last few materials currently not being accepted, including glass and cardboard which can be recycled at the kerbside.
Sites have experienced long queues at times, especially in the morning, and SWP advise to only make trips if really necessary.
SWP are aware of some ongoing issues with collections, especially with garden waste services. They understand how frustrating these issues are and apologise for the inconvenience. For more information visit Somerset Waste Partnership.
Update 5 June - Recycling sites
From Monday 8 June, all 16 recycling sites in Somerset will be accepting more materials.
The full list of materials taken at Somerset recycling sites from Monday:
- Rubbish – material you would usually put in your black rubbish bin, excess black bags not taken by kerbside collections (landfilled in Somerset)
- Bulky items, such as furniture and mattresses (landfilled in Somerset)
- Garden waste (composted in Somerset)
- Large household electrical items – white goods, TVs etc (recycled in UK)
- Small household electrical items – irons, toaster etc (recycled in UK)
- Hazardous household chemicals, such as solvents, garden chemicals, paint thinners and antifreeze (treated and disposed of in UK)
- Cooking oil and engine oil, in disposable containers of up to five litres (recycled in UK)
- Scrap metal (recycled in UK)
- Plastic pots, tubs and trays (recycled in UK)
- Paint (water-based recycled in UK; other paint landfilled)
- Man-made wood - chipboard, MDF, etc (recycled in UK)
- Natural wood - untreated timber, tree trunks, etc (recycled in UK)
A reminder that any items you would usually pay to have disposed of will not be accepted, such as commercial waste, tyres, gas bottles, soil and hardcore, vehicle parts, plasterboard and asbestos.
Please check www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling-centre-queue-cams before you leave to see the queue cams for Bridgwater, Chard, Highbridge, Minehead, Street, Taunton, Wells and Yeovil.
Update 1 June - Recycling sites
From Monday 1 June, Somerset Waste Partnership’s recycling centres will revert to their usual summer opening hours
As well as the current temporary hours, the odds and even number plate access system will also come to an end from Monday. All other restrictions remain in place as SWP continues the move towards business as usual following Coronavirus closures.
Please see https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling/centres/ or the timetable below for all sites' opening hours – note that for Taunton, Yeovil and Frome it means a return to seven days a week opening.
SWP is continuing its plea for people to only come if it is really necessary and to take full advantage of the weekly kerbside recycling collections, which have continued throughout the crisis.
Long queues are expected at the sites, especially first thing in the morning, as the number of unloading bays has been reduced to allow social distancing. Queue cams are viewable for Bridgwater, Chard, Highbridge, Minehead, Somerton, Street, Taunton and Yeovil. Please check before you leave.
A maximum of two people per household will be permitted, gloves must be worn while outside your vehicle and strict social distancing maintained. Trailers and 3.5 tonne vans are only allowed access between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays.
For more information, visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk
Update 1 June - Waste, recycling and collection dates
Check your collection days for waste, recycling and garden waste here.
Update 11 May - Garden waste
Garden waste collections will restart from Monday 11 May. New subscriptions will be extended to 12 months from restart of services.
Your garden waste collection day may have changed - check your collection day and dates here
Update 1 May - Bulky waste collections
Somerset Waste Partnership are pleased to announce that they are now able to reintroduce their bulky waste collection service.
To request a collection, visit our bulky waste collection page.
Update 30 April - New container requests
Somerset Waste Partnership are pleased to announce that they are now able to reintroduce their container order service.
If your waste and recycling container is lost or damaged, you can request a replacement.
Update on missed recycling collections
Due to the impacts of Covid-19, the kerbside collection teams are operating with fewer resources than normal and this has severely impacted our ability to complete all collections.
Somerset Waste Partnership have had to make the difficult decision to move staff to work on essential services only. This means that we will not return for any missed recycling collections. Please put these out for your next scheduled collection when this will be prioritised.
We will continue to return for missed refuse/wheelie bin and clinical waste collections as normal.
Suspended garden waste collections
Reduced staffing due to Coronavirus has led to collections being dropped in several areas this week. With pressures highly likely to increase, the Partnership is suspending garden waste collections until further notice so staff can focus on collecting recycling, refuse and clinical waste.
To make sure customers do not lose out financially, Somerset Waste Partnership is extending all subscriptions to take account of the disruption, however long it lasts. So, if disruption continues until the end of April 2020, the new annual subscriptions will last until the end of April 2021.
Other service updates
Requests for bins, recycling boxes and food waste caddies
This service has been suspended. The team will try to deliver those already ordered, but no new requests will be accepted
Bulky waste collections
This service has been suspended. Customers who have booked a bulky waste collection will be contacted shortly in regards to refunds.
All recycling sites and centres have been closed
Slim My Waste, Feed My Face campaign
This roll-out of this campaign has been paused. This is so support staff are available for priority work.
Disposing of contaminated waste
Public Health England (PHE) has issued this advice for anyone with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including those with a diagnosis of infection, who must remain at home until they are well.
Personal waste (e.g. used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
When cleaning, PHE advises using your usual household products, like detergents and bleach as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces.
Full guidance for people staying at home because of confirmed or possible infection can be found on the Government’s website here.