Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge residents are being asked to put their rubbish and recycling out the night before collection as waste crews across Somerset gear up for extreme heat.
Crews could be starting collections as early as 5.30am to avoid the worst of the sweltering heat forecast for Monday and Tuesday (18th and 19th July).
Having boxes, bags and bins out the night before is the best way to make sure they are ready to go when the crews arrive, says Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP).
It is also urging people to be extra patient and take extra care to sort recycling into the right containers to help hard-pressed crews.
Temperatures are forecast to hit more than 30 degrees Celsius at the start of the week in the Burnham-On-Sea area, and SWP says crews will be ready with hats, sun-screen, and refillable water bottles.
With more than 70,000 collections to make each day, they are also being encouraged to take short breaks in the shade if needed.
On average, a recycling loader can walk up to ten miles on a round, collecting from hundreds of homes picking up nearly 1,000 boxes and bags.
Extreme heat makes that tough job even harder and that could mean some delayed collections.
Mickey Green, Somerset Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of Somerset Waste Board, said: “The crews do a great job, but it’s going to be tough going at the start of the week.”
“They will be doing their very best to stay on track and the early starts should help. If there are delays we would ask for your understanding and they will be back as soon as possible.”
“We’re seeing lots of examples of crews being given cold drinks and ice lollies on their rounds. That’s a very kind gesture that really helps and is hugely appreciated.”
Crushing cans, squashing plastic bottles (lid back on afterwards), and flattening cardboard makes recycling easier and quicker to collection. It also means more can fit in the truck, reducing the need to go and empty it.
Storing food waste ready for recycling can be difficult in hot weather, but the following advice may help:
- Keep the food waste caddy and bin somewhere shady and cool.
- If it has to go, you can double-bag it and take it to a recycling site for the Energy from Waste skip.
- It can go into your kerbside rubbish bin – double-bagging reduces smells.
- If you have the space and time, home compost.