HOUSEHOLDS in Somerset could soon include plastic pots, batteries and more in their kerbside recycling if new collections are approved - with rubbish collections moving to once every THREE weeks, as opposed to fortnightly.

Mendip will be the first district which could see the new Recycle More service if plans from the Somerset West Partnership (SWP) are approved on July 31 at a meeting of the Somerset Waste Board.

The scheme would launch in the Mendip area at the end of October, with 51,000 households able to recycle much more from their kerbside every week, with the four other Somerset districts seeing the new scheme implemented in the following 18 months.

South Somerset would welcome the service at end of June/early July 2021, with Sedgemoor and Somerset West & Taunton following in the final two phases.

The new service will be introduced area by area so SWP's five depots can be upgraded to handle thousands of tonnes of extra recycling.

Recycle More, which was successfully trialled six years ago and approved for roll-out by Somerset Waste Board and all its partner councils, will mean:

• More recycling collected from kerbsides, with plastic pots, tubs and trays, food and drink cartons (such as Tetra Paks), small household batteries and small electricals added to the list of items picked up every week.

• Every household in the district given an extra recycling container - a Bright Blue Bag - for plastics and metals.

• Rubbish collected every three weeks instead of two – because more recycling means more space in bins.

• Expanded recycling for households with communal collections, such as flats and houses of multiple occupancy, and schools as part of future plans.

SWP says that although Somerset has an impressive recycling record, its recycling rate has stayed steady for several years, despite half the contents of today's average Somerset rubbish bin being recyclable with existing collections and containers.

And it hopes Recycle More will kick-start new recycling habits across the county – saving materials, energy and cutting every family’s carbon footprint.

Chair of the Somerset Waste Board, Councillor Sarah Dyke, said: “Most people in Somerset are recycling. We want to make it easier for everyone to recycle even more, protecting our environment, helping tackle climate change and saving taxpayers’ money.

“This will be a major step forward and show the commitment of all partners to addressing the climate change agenda.

"There is a lot if enthusiasm out there for this change which will help every resident recycle far more, throw away much less, and have a smaller carbon footprint.”

Vice Chair, Cllr Clare Paul, added: “We want to bring Recycle More to the county as soon as possible, but it has to be done area by area so our depots can be upgraded.

“So, whenever the roll-out starts, some residents will see Recycle More sooner than others.

"I’d ask everyone to be patient and carry on recycling as they are until the new service arrives – nothing changes until you get your Bright Blue Bag.”

As well as Recycle More, the Board meeting will discuss the impacts of Covid-19, which saw the temporary closure of recycling centres and disruption to collection services.

With more people spending more time at home, April and May saw increases in waste and recycling, notably glass and cardboard, compared to 2019.

Food waste collected was up by more than a quarter in these months, though partly as a result of the successful Slim My Waste campaign, which will be discussed at the meeting.

For more information about Recycle More visit For information about how to reduce and reuse your waste, visit