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Get set for a heavyweight waste and recycling Christmas

| District

Somerset’s kerbside collections and recycling sites are expecting festive fun to lead to around 2,700 more tonnes of extra recycling and rubbish in January than in December. That’s a 17% rise, equivalent to 6,000 polar bears let loose or 100 rubbish trucks stacked on top of each other.

Christmas cheer is set to bring an extra 720 tonnes of glass, 110 tonnes of cans and 125 tonnes of plastic bottles, 560 tonnes of paper and card from wrapping, gift boxes and Christmas cards, and 650 tonnes of rubbish, but leftover eating leaves only an extra 230 tonnes of food waste.

With a total of 18,500 tonnes of recycling and rubbish to shift, not counting garden waste, residents are reminded that festive waste collections will be two days later after Christmas, including Friday collections on Sunday, and one day later after New Year:

Key dates for kerbside collections

Usual day - Revised day
Mon 23 Dec - No change
Tue 24 Dec - No change
Wed 25 Dec - Fri 27 Dec
Thu 26 Dec - Sat 28 Dec
Fri 27 Dec - Sun 29 Dec
Mon 30 Dec - No change
Tue 31 Dec - No change
Wed 1 Jan - Thu 2 Jan
Thu 2 Jan - Fri 3 Jan
Fri 3 Jan - Sat 4 Jan
Mon 6 Jan - Usual services resume

Prioritising all that recycling and rubbish means that, as usual, garden waste collections are suspended over Christmas – with the last garden waste collection on Friday 20 December and collections resuming on Monday 6 January.

An SWP spokesman said: “Thousands of tonnes of extra recycling and rubbish is tough to handle, but our hard working collection crews and recycling site staff do a great job. Please help them by sorting everything carefully before you put it in your recycling box, and taking large amounts of any materials – especially cardboard – to your local recycling centre.”

January sales and Christmas presents result in more items taken to recycling sites in January, including an extra 53 tonnes of fridges and freezers, 52 tonnes of cookers and washing machines, 17 tonnes of kettles, toasters and other small electricals, and 13 tonnes of televisions replaced to better see all the repeats.

Somerset residents are reminded that many retailers offer take-back schemes when you are purchasing a new electrical item, and many reuse organisations and other charities welcome white goods and other electricals in good condition.

All recycling sites will be open 9am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays on 21-22 and 28-29 December, and 4-5 January. All sites are closed on Christmas, Boxing and New Year days – check when your local site is open at

The SWP spokesman added: “We ask all residents to help themselves and waste workers by reducing their waste where possible, considering what could be reused by someone else and choosing recyclable materials.

“The best things you can do with your Christmas tree are to compost it at home, take it to any recycling site, use a local council drop-off or chipping point, or book a charity collection where available. Garden waste subscribers only can add their undecorated tree under 6ft to their garden waste collection from 7 January.”

Information and advice about the potential impact of bad weather on services and top tips to cut Christmas waste – especially plastics - will be posted on SWP’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, with even more top tips available through its SORTED! monthly e-zine.

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