In a move planned to save £14.1 million in taxpayer money for the next 13 years by the Somerset Waste Board, one in three recycling centres in Somerset will have reduced opening hours, but all centres will stay open on weekends.
The managing director of the Somerset Waste Partnership, Mickey Green commented that the decision was a “good financial deal,” saying that the savings would begin with £300,000 this year, and grow yearly until a total of £14.1 million is saved by March 2031.
Responsible for household waste services in Somerset, the board voted on Friday, November 2, to sign a nine-year contract extension that enables the present provider, Viridor, to continue its services in the region’s recycling centres until 2031.
All 16 recycling centres will have their opening hours’ updates beginning from April 2019 under the new agreement, starting operations at 9am instead of 8am. Though weekend opening has been maintained at all locations, new weekday closures will be added at Crewkerne, Dimmer, Dulverton, Saltlands, Minehead, and Williton.
The hardest hit, Dulverton will only open on weekends, and Crewkerne will only open three days a week, staying closed from Tuesday to Friday. To reduce the sudden changes, the £2 cash entree fee at Crewkerne and Dulverton will be ended by April 2020.
All the recycling sites will stay open from 9am to 4pm on weekends.
Complete details of the updated changes to the opening hours can be viewed on flyers at each recycling centre, on the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) website, and via SWP social media.