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1,000 fire-starting gas canisters found in Somerset’s recycling


As camping season gets underway, Somerset Council and its kerbside collections contractor, SUEZ, are reminding residents of the danger of putting gas canisters in their recycling.

This year alone, more than 1,000 potential fires from gas canisters have been avoided, thanks to the vigilant crews at the material recovery facilities in Taunton and Evercreech.

Due to the increasing number of canisters being put out with recycling, crews have had no choice other than to manually check recycling ahead of the automated sorting process to avoid sparking dangerous blazes.

The small canisters, mainly used for camping gas stoves, are often mistakenly put in the kerbside recycling ‘Bright Blue Bag’. The bag can be used to recycle empty aerosol bottles (for example, hair spray or deodorant), but should never be used to dispose of gas canisters.

Gas canisters must be taken a local household recycling site. Always check with the team on-site for the correct area to put these.

And it is not just gas canisters that can pose a risk for collection crews, other items including batteries and barbeques are potential fire starters.

Over the past year, ten fires have started at SUEZ’s material recovery facilities or within trucks. The fires have broken out when hazardous materials including large and household batteries as well as gas canisters have mistakenly gone through the baling process. Fortunately, quick responding crews have prevented injury or serious damage occurring.

Disposable barbeques put into rubbish bins without being fully soaked and extinguished can retain heat, smoulder and start a fire in trucks and when tipped back at the depot.

Fires cause damage and put lives at risk, as the weather warms up Somerset Council and SUEZ are calling on residents to please do the right thing with these potentially dangerous items.

What should you do?

For more information visit Somerset Council’s safety pages.

The warmer summer months can bring an increase in fires on trucks and sorting facilities, every fire poses a risk to staff and the environment. Although items are disposed of with good intentions, it is important to follow the council’s guidelines on how to dispose of items safely.

Somerset’s waste and recycling collection crews make more than 380,000 collections a week. For more information about what happens to the recycling they collect, check the Somerset Recycling Tracker on the Somerset Council website.



Gardening Season is here! Sign up for Garden Recycling Collection


Somerset residents are being reminded that they can sign up for a fortnightly home garden waste recycling collection.


The service run by Somerset Council has more than 56,000 subscribers and with spring well and truly here and gardens bursting into life, now is the perfect time to sign up.


Subscriptions can be started any time during the year and the quickest and easiest way to subscribe is online through the somerset.gov.uk/waste page – just use the ‘Do it online/My Waste Service’ feature.


Collections are made fortnightly year-round (apart from a short break during Christmas and New Year). Residents can either sign up to a pre-paid 180-litre wheeled bin or 90-litre compostable paper sacks. The price of a wheeled bin subscription for 2023/24 is £63.50 for 25 collections and for packs of ten garden waste sacks, £31.10.


All garden waste stays in Somerset, going to one of several composting sites, including Dimmer and Walpole, where it is shredded, and turned into compost. The end-product is sold as revive soil conditioner through all recycling sites.


Residents who already subscribe to the service will be sent a reminder, by email or post, in the month prior to their subscription ending. For example, a May mailing for those expiring in June. However, there is no need to wait until you receive a reminder, subscriptions can be renewed at any time (you’ll still get a full year service). If you are not online, you can also subscribe by calling: 0300 123 2224.


Home composting is the recommended option for garden waste and those who have space to do so can order a subsided home composting bin from the council’s partner Get Composting. Garden waste can also be taken to any one of Somerset’s 16 waste recycling sites.


Garden waste should not be put out for collection with refuse. It is also not advised to burn garden waste, as this can cause pollution and local nuisance.




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