New figures released on Somerset Day show that nine out of ten households in the county are now recycling.

Looking at a representative sample of more than 3,000 homes in March this year, 91% were found to be actively recycling and sorting items into their boxes and Bright Blue Bag.

That is up from the 85% when this analysis was last carried out five years ago.

And when it comes to food waste recycling the improvements are even better, with 72% of households recycling compared to 62% in the 2018 survey. Industry experts WRAP consider 55% to be a high participation rate for food waste for recycling.

Somerset Council is committed to a greener, more sustainable county and these latest ‘participation analysis’ results show that more residents than ever feel the same.

Sorting materials for collection produces high-quality recycling that is easier to get turned into new goods and packaging in the UK. Thanks to the efforts of residents, in 2021-22 an impressive 97.2% of the material collected from Somerset’s kerbsides was recycled in the UK.

Sorting recycling also speeds up collections, making life easier for crews and reducing the chance of missed collections.

Since the 2018 research was carried out, Somerset has seen the successful Slim My Waste, Feed My Face campaign aimed at increasing food waste recycling.

Somerset has also successfully introduced its expanded Recycle More collections which have reduced refuse and driven up recycling.

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change, said:

The vast majority of people in Somerset are recycling and that’s something we can all be really proud of this Somerset Day. The jump in food waste recycling is particularly pleasing.

We’ve done our best to help people recycle, but at the end of the day it comes down to more people taking the time to do the right thing.

Somerset’s crews make more than 350,000 collections a week. For more information about what happens to the recycling they collect, check the Somerset Recycling Tracker on the Somerset Council website.

The research carried out in Somerset records the number of households presenting recycling at least once in a three-week period – the industry standard measure of actively participating in recycling.

For more information and news about Somerset Council’s Waste Services visit and follow @somersetwaste on Facebook and Twitter.


An image of an over sized bright blue recycling bag in bridgwater town.

About this article

May 11, 2023


Press Release