A rare opportunity to see behind the scenes at a Somerset recycling facility is being offered next month.
SUEZ recycling and recovery UK and Somerset Council are pleased to be offering the public tours of the Evercreech Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) near Shepton Mallet.
Five free tours will be available between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, 16 September and spaces must be booked in advance. With a maximum number of 100 visitors over the day, please book early to avoid disappointment.
Each tour will allow residents to find out exactly what happens after the colourful recycling trucks collect their recycling – which totalled 142,504 tonnes across the county last year.
Visitors will be able to see how the recycling lorries mechanically empty each compartment of recycling material, as well as the sorting machine which separates plastics from tins and cans which are mixed in the blue bags.
These busy sites are not normally open to members of the public, so this is a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes and see what happens up close.
Tours will run every hour from 10am, with the last tour at 2pm and have been organised as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival.
For more information on the event, visit the Heritage Open day website.
Tickets can be booked directly via Eventbrite.
The Evercreech MRF was substantially upgraded in 2020 when the new Recycle More collections were introduced. It is now home to new technology and machinery which allows SUEZ to sort different recycling materials efficiently and effectively, ready to be packed up and sold on to be made into new packaging and products.
The facility processes 33,000 tonnes of recycling on average each year, the equivalent weight of around 2,000 double decker buses.
The tours will be hosted by SUEZ’s dedicated site staff who will take visitors through each process, showcasing important information about the facility whilst answering any questions.
Visitors will also learn the potential issues that come with putting the wrong items in their recycling bins, including the fire risk from incorrectly disposing of materials like vapes, batteries and gas canisters.
Councillor Dixie Darch, Executive Lead Member for Environment & Climate Change for Somerset Council said: “Knowing that the right thing is being done with the materials is a key motivator for getting people recycling. These visits will really bring that to life.
“Somerset Council is committed to a greener, more sustainable county and we have a great recycling record here in Somerset. That’s largely down to the effort people make to sort things for their kerbside collections.”
Fred Stinchcombe, Regional Production Manager for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: “We’re really excited to open our doors for the first time in Somerset and give the public behind the scenes access to our Evercreech recycling facility, where they’ll learn exactly what happens after their recycling is collected on bin day.
“Working in this industry we’re often asked interesting questions by residents, so we welcome the opportunity to showcase our role in reducing waste and how we get the recycling prepared to be turned into new packaging and products. We look forward to welcoming as many visitors as possible to Evercreech in September.”
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest community-led festival, taking place every September celebrating history and culture, involving thousands of local volunteers and organisations.