Impressive progress is revealed in a new Somerset Waste Partnership report on the destination of the county’s 137,146 tonnes of recycling in 2020-21.
Tracking each tonne shows that everything residents recycled kerbside or at recycle sites was recycled, 97.8% in the UK, up from an already impressive 90%. What went abroad was mainly card for boxes for imports.
Plastics showed striking success, reflecting the first impact of Recycle More collections rolling out across Somerset. Of 4,359 tonnes collected, 99.4% stayed in the UK to become food containers, fleeces and pipes.
Almost 51% of Somerset recycling stayed in the county. The largest single material recycled was the 39,432 tonnes of garden waste composted in Somerset to become Revive soil improver. And the anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater transformed 22,542 tonnes of food waste into electricity for homes and businesses, and farm compost to help grow more food.
The heaviest “dry” material was paper and card at 24,731 tonnes, which made newsprint and cardboard from Dorset to Kent, while some went to Europe and Asia. The 19,721 tonnes of glass bottles and jars went to Sheffield and Wales, while 7,868 tonnes of metals – mainly steel and aluminium cans – were recycled into new cans and car parts via companies from Devon to Doncaster.
In 2008, Somerset was the first waste authority to offer transparency and trust with its pioneering annual tracker. By tracing the first use companies and locations for all of Somerset’s recycling, the tracker shows that none of it as burned, dumped or ended in the sea.
Somerset’s 52.4% recycling rate puts it in the top fifth of authorities for recycling, with 60% or more within reach through Recycle More. And it also makes Somerset one of the very best areas for carbon saving, at 123,036 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Somerset Waste Partnership and its contractors have a commitment that all materials collected for recycling will stay in the UK, if there is reprocessing capacity and demand here.
Residents have been asked put rubbish and recycling out by 6am until further notice to help SWP and contractor SUEZ deal with hot weather and other factors.
Success despite driver shortage
Recycle More expanded weekly recycling collections have only just started in South Somerset, yet already look set to repeat if not beat their Mendip success of 100 tonnes a week extra recycling. This despite disruption from the UK-wide LGV driver shortage that is even more acute in Somerset. SWP and SUEZ are working hard to get services back on track but there are no quick fixes and more delays are likely as recruitment work continues.
SWP’s governing body has two members from each partner council:
Mendip Cllrs Joshua Burr, Tom Ronan; Sedgemoor Cllrs Andrew Gilling, Janet Keen; Somerset County Cllrs David Hall, Clare Paul (Vice Chair); Somerset West and Taunton Cllrs David Mansell, Andrew Sully; South Somerset Cllrs Sarah Dyke (Chair), Tim Kerley.
somersetwaste.gov.uk for advice and ezine sign-up. Follow @Somersetwaste on social media. SWP manages waste services for all Somerset councils.
Director of Public Health urges those with Covid-19 symptoms to book PCR test
Somerset residents are being reminded that they need to book a PCR test if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19, or have tested positive using a ‘lateral flow’ (rapid) test kit.
While the ‘lateral flow’ tests are a useful screening tool, the PCR test is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ and should be taken by anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell.
Also, if anyone takes a ‘lateral flow’ test at home and gets a positive result, they should book a further PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at a local Covid testing site to confirm the result.
Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said: “It is really important to understand the difference between the ‘lateral flow’ tests and the PCR test.
“The ‘lateral flow’ tests are only to be used by those displaying no symptoms. While they are a valuable guide, they should not be relied upon alone. Taking a PCR test will provide confirmation of the result.
“So, if you are displaying symptoms or have tested positive using a ‘lateral flow’ test, please book a PCR test. As society starts to open up again, everyone needs to play their part to keep the virus under control and this involves testing.”
You can book or request a PCR test online or by calling 119.
The ‘lateral flow’ tests for those displaying no symptoms are available via the Universal Testing Offer. Please also remember to log any positive or negative result following a ‘lateral flow’ test taken at home.
Trudi added: “The main form of defence against catching and spreading Covid-19 is still ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ – remember to wash your hands regularly, try not to touch your face unless you have clean hands, wear a face covering if you can and keep your distance from others. And, even if vaccinated, it’s still important you take part in twice-weekly LFT testing and ensure you take a PCR test if you are symptomatic.”
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.