Recycle Week 2021 – step up and fight climate change

Recycling more is a way we can all contribute to the fight against climate change every day – that’s the message from Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) this Recycle Week.

The national awareness week starts on Monday 20 September, and this year’s theme is ‘stepping it up’ to combat climate change.

More than 137,000 tonnes of waste were recycled or reused in Somerset in 2020-21. That equates to more than 123,000 tonnes of carbon saved – the equivalent of:

  • Taking 47,321 cars off the road for a year
  • Planting 738,216 trees
  • Cancelling 702 Boeing 747 flights between London and New York  

Showing where recycling goes has been shown to be a key way of encouraging people to recycle more. That’s why SWP publishes its Recycling Tracker – a detailed breakdown of what happens to everything you recycle – and will be promoting the highlights throughout Recycle Week. If you use social media, be sure to share our posts and help spread the word.

In 2020-21, 97.8 per cent of recycling stayed in the UK including more than 50 per cent staying in Somerset itself. An impressive 99.4 per cent of the plastics we collected were recycled here in the UK too.

All garden waste (39,432 tonnes last year) is composted in the county and turned into the Revive soil improver. The 22,542 tonnes of food waste you recycled is all transformed into electricity for homes and businesses and farm compost by the Somerset anaerobic digestion plant at Walpole near Bridgwater.

Somerset’s recycling rate of 52.4 per cent puts in the top fifth of authorities for recycling, and we believe that with Recycle More being rolled out, 60 per cent or more could be within reach.

The new expanded recycling collections are already collecting more than 100 extra tonnes of recycling each week in both Mendip and South Somerset. The service is launched in the Taunton Deane area this November and is due to arrive in Sedgemoor and the West Somerset area early next year.

So, if you want to do your bit to help tackle climate change, Recycle More.