Residents are being reminded that Taunton Recycling Site will be closed this weekend and until further notice following the major fire this week.

As photos taken this morning (6 October) show, the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is badly damaged, and some small fires persist.

The weekend is a popular time for visitors, with more than 1,200 people usually coming to the site in Priorswood which is run by Biffa on behalf of Somerset Council.

Somerset Council’s recycling sites in Wellington and Bridgwater will open this weekend as usual, and every day next week to give residents an alternative if they have waste that has to go.

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.

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

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

Kerbside recycling collections are unaffected, and residents should use them as usual.

Anyone who would usually use the site is 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.

The MRF is right next to the public recycling site and considered structurally unsafe. Specialist engineers are due to assess it early next week once they can enter safely.

The cause of the blaze is not known, and fire crews were still in attendance today monitoring the situation.

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:

As you can see, the building is badly damaged and until the site is made safe for the public we just cannot reopen it.

We apologise for the disruption but hope people can understand the reason for it and make use of alternative sites if they have waste that just cannot wait.

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.

Taunton recycling site - Image of fire 6 October

About this article

October 6, 2023

Isabella Cole

Press Release