Somerset Council’s recycling sites in Wellington and Bridgwater will open every day next week following the major fire at the Taunton site.

Wellington is usually closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but will open Monday to Sunday. Bridgwater usually closes on Wednesdays but will also open seven days next week.

The extra opening is an option for people who would usually use the Taunton site which has been closed since the fire in the early hours of Tuesday (3 Oct).

The site in Priorswood will remain closed until further notice.

At this stage, the cause of the blaze is not known, and crews were still in attendance today (5 October), tackling small persistent fires.

Residents are urged to stay away from the site and heed the road closed signs – the gates remain open so that fire services have access, but the site is closed.

If any areas are still affected by smoke, people should follow the Devon and Somerset Fire Service advice to keep windows and doors closed.

The site averages around 700 visitors a day and residents who would usually use it are asked to either:

  • Hold on to their recycling if it can wait
  • Put it in their kerbside recycling if it is the right kind of material
  • Try one of the council’s other 15 sites if it is waste that urgently needs to go

Local sites details can be found online: Find your nearest recycling centre.

Somerset Council has 16 recycling sites across the county which are managed by Biffa on the Council’s behalf. Staff from Taunton have been redeployed to provide the extra opening in Wellington and Bridgwater.

Councillor Dixie Darch, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Climate, and the Environment, said:

This is big disruption for a lot of people, we apologise for that but hope everyone understands why it’s just not possible to reopen the site at this stage.

We’ve arranged extra opening at the nearest alternative sites to offer some help and will work with Biffa to do whatever we can to get Taunton back up and running soon.

The fire has seriously damaged the Material Recovery Facility next to the public recycling site.

The building, where recycling is sorted for sending out to be reprocessed, is considered structurally unsafe. Specialist engineers are expected to assess the building early next week once it is safe to access.

Fire services were called to the site in Priorswood in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday 3 October and up to 60 firefighters and seven appliances were involved in tackling the blaze.

About this article

October 5, 2023

Isabella Cole

Press Release