Our services, especially kerbside collections, can be affected by severe weather such as snow, ice, high winds, and excessive heat.
We will try to give you updates about any disruption on this website and our Somerset Council Waste Facebook page – Somerset Waste
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
You can find updates on travel disruption that could affect collections in our roads and transport section.
We will do our best to keep services going, if this can be done safely. We will need to take into account factors like road conditions and risks to the public or crews. 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 on this website and social media.
Please help 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 keep recycling and refuse collections going. 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 bad weather
- Please make sure your bins and boxes are all out by 7 am 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 7 am for up to four calendar days for recycling and up to seven calendar days for rubbish or garden waste. If there is still no collection, take the containers back in and put them out by 7 am on the next usual collection day.
- During bad weather, extra waste will be accepted alongside containers. Put your 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 set apart 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.
In windy conditions:
- 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 their lids closed with all waste inside.
- Put out bins and boxes as close to 7 am as possible, somewhere sheltered but still clearly visible.
You have a legal duty of care to look after your waste. You remain responsible for your waste until it has been collected. 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. Please report any problems by logging a complaint using the My Waste Service feature.
Waste collection can be physically demanding. In periods of extended or extreme hot weather, collections may start from 6 am rather than the usual 7 am so crews can avoid working in the hottest parts of the day.
We will tell you about early starts through our social media and on this website. When the weather is hot, you may wish to put your waste out by 6 am or the night before, just in case.
If earlier collection starts are introduced, collection crews will be reminded to keep the noise down.
When hot weather continues for a long time, it 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, especially 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 also works well and is an environmentally friendly disinfectant.
During periods of hot weather, collections crews may have to take additional breaks and they appreciate offers of cool drinks.
Severe rainfall and flooding
Severe rainfall and localised flooding can disrupt collections with little notice and may affect access to recycling sites.
Information about any disruption, including closure of recycling sites, will be shared through this website and social media.
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 it and place it in the “cannot recycle” skip