Our services, notably kerbside collections, can be affected by severe weather such as snow, ice, high winds, and excessive heat. We will endeavour to give updates about any disruption through the Somerset Council website and the Somerset Council Waste Facebook page @somersetwaste

Met Office weather warnings can be found at UK weather warnings – Met Office

Environment Agency flood information on flooding can be found at Check for flooding in England – GOV.UK

Travel Somerset provides update on travel disruption that could affect collections.

We will do our best to maintain services, if this can be done safely, taking into account factors like road conditions and risks to public or crews. However, collection services may be delayed or suspended, and recycling centres could close at short notice.

If a collection is missed in severe weather, crews will make a return pick-up as soon as possible as conditions improve. Crews will work late and on Saturdays to catch up if conditions allow.

The start of collection times may vary to assist collection crews during severe weather. We will publicise any changes via our website and social media.

Please assist anyone elderly, infirm or disabled with containers or in taking excess materials to recycling sites, during periods of severe weather.

Bulky waste and garden waste collections may be suspended to help maintain recycling and refuse collections. If there are delays to paid-for garden waste collections, options include home composting, taking garden waste to any open recycling site, or storing materials. Clinical collections will restart as soon as possible.

General advice when services are affected by severe weather

  • Please ensure your bins and boxes are all out by 7am on your collection day and no earlier than the night before.
  • If your kerbside collection is missed, please report it using the My Waste Service feature. Where possible, crews will return within two working days.
  • Put out missed containers by 7am for up to four calendar days for recycling, and up to seven calendar days for rubbish/garden waste. If still no collection, take containers back in and put them out by 7am on the next usual collection day.
  • During severe weather, extra waste will be accepted alongside containers. Put rubbish in black sacks, recycling in carrier bags and food in covered buckets or with rubbish.
  • To help your crew work quickly, please sort and roughly segregate materials in your boxes, without using carrier bags. Squash all except glass and aerosols to reduce the risk of light items being blown out of boxes. Stack boxes with the locked food waste bin on top.
  • Consider, if you have space, storing recycling until the following week’s collections or taking it to a recycling site.

Windy weather

In windy conditions please

  • Squash and flatten materials if possible, except glass and aerosols
  • Stack recycling boxes with the locked food waste bin on top.
  • Make sure all rubbish bins have lids closed with all waste inside.
  • Put out bins and boxes as close to 7am as possible, somewhere sheltered but still clearly visible.

You have a legal duty of care to look after your waste. Until it is collected, it remains your responsibility, even if it has been blown down the street.

If our crews drop waste or make a mess, they are required to clear it up – report any problems by logging a complaint using the My Waste Service feature.

Excessive heat

Waste collection can be a physically demanding. In periods of prolonged or extreme hot weather, collections may start from 6am rather than the usual 7am so crews can avoid working in the hottest parts of the day.

We will publicise early starts through social media and the website. When the weather is hot, you may wish to put your waste out by 6am or the night before, just in case.

If earlier collection starts are introduced, collection crews will be reminded to keep the noise down.

Prolonged hot weather increases the likelihood of flies on food waste. To reduce the chance of this:

  • Lock the lid of your brown food waste bin whenever it is out for collection.
  • Leave it in the shade if possible to avoid flies, particularly in hot weather.
  • Keep your caddy clean by lining it with newspaper or compostable liners.
  • Some residents put food waste in compostable liners into their freezers between collections. This prevents smells, pests and vermin.
  • Use washing up liquid to clean your caddy or bin. White wine vinegar is also effective and an environmentally-friendly disinfectant.

During periods of excessive heat, collections crews may have to take additional refreshment breaks and they appreciate offers of cool drinks.

Severe rainfall/flooding

Severe rainfall and localised flooding can disruption collections with little notice, and potentially access to recycling sites.

Information about any disruption, including closure of recycling sites, will be shared through the website and social media.

Recycling sites

Follow advice about unnecessary travel during very severe weather.

Recycling sites can be used to dispose of recycling and refuse if kerbside collections have been disrupted.

If food waste must be discarded, please double bag and place in “cannot recycle” skip

Last reviewed: June 1, 2023 by Jenny

Next review due: December 1, 2023

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