Somerset Council and SUEZ Recycling News

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Press release
For immediate release‘Feed your family, not the bin’ say Somerset Council and SUEZ


This Food Waste Action Week, Somerset Council and SUEZ are helping the county’s Local Pantry members go the extra mile to reduce food waste.

Fridges set to the correct temperature can help food stay fresh for up to three days longer. Somerset Council and SUEZ recycling and recovery – the Council’s collections contractor – are providing a fridge thermometer to every food pantry member, helping families to keep their food at a cool 0°c to 5°c.

It’s not just keeping your fridge cool that can help prevent food waste, the nationwide ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign shares simple tips that can help everyone make the most of their food:

  • Create a weekly meal plan
  • Check your portions to avoid uneaten leftovers
  • Don’t put hot food straight in the fridge, let it cool first so it doesn’t increase the temperature
  • Keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge – it makes them last longer
  • Create an ‘eat me first’ space in the fridge – so you can keep tabs on food that needs using up

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Lead Member for Climate and Environment at Somerset Council said:

“Simple steps can help to prevent food waste, and importantly save money. We want to help families avoid unnecessary food waste, a simple way to start is by checking your fridge is at the correct temperature.

“When stored correctly, fresh food could last up to three days longer, providing opportunity to feed the family – and not the bin!”

Some food waste is unavoidable, it’s always best to use up what you can, but if it must go then recycling food waste is the next best thing.

Households in Somerset can recycle their food at the kerbside, with their weekly recycling collection. Last year 23,000 tonnes of food waste was recycled – but the waste in the general rubbish bins were filled with 21% food waste.

Food waste in Somerset is recycled in the county, via anaerobic digestion – it’s turned into fertiliser for farms and electricity that goes into the national grid.

According to ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’, a staggering 60% of the UK’s food waste come from our homes – that’s eight meals a week!

Food pantries in Somerset are thriving, with nine up and running across the county. The nine Local Pantries do a brilliant job of diverting surplus food from shops and local allotments, saving food which would have otherwise been thrown out.

Lily Morton, SUEZ recycling and recovery said:

“We are really pleased to be able to partner with the Somerset Local Pantry network. We hope that we can encourage their members to think about reducing food waste at home. This not only helps the environment but will also help people save money by stopping still good food going in the bin!

“Producing food and food products requires a huge amount of resources. This is why it’s particularly important to reduce food waste and where you can’t reduce, make use of the kerbside food waste recycling.”

The Local Pantry Network in Somerset

SLPN is a partnership between Somerset Council, local community groups, and food charity, FareShare South West.

Somerset Council provided initial grant money and support to help the launch of Local Pantries, but each pantry is independently run by voluntary sector groups, supporting each other as needed.

Food charity, Action Against Hunger, made a film about the Somerset pantries, highlighting the positive impact they make in communities. Watch it here: The Somerset Local Pantries Network (

Full details of SLPN can be found on The Local Pantry Network in Somerset page.

The Love Food, Hate Waste campaign is organised by WRAP, an international climate action Non-Governmental Organisation.

Somerset Council and SUEZ Partnership

This project is funded via Somerset Council and SUEZ’s Somerset Waste: Enhanced Environmental Performance (SW:EEP) fund.

The SW:EEP fund uses ring-fenced income from the sale of recyclable materials. The money is designated for the benefit of the community.

The partnership backs projects with aims that take action on climate change, behaviour change and positive community support (for example, groups who work to reduce food waste in their local communities).

CAG Somerset

Managed by Resource Futures, the CAG Somerset network is backed by Somerset Council and their waste contractor SUEZ recycling and recovery UK and provides free support to the network of Community Action Groups in Somerset. CAG Somerset can help groups looking to set up projects including pantries.


For more information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email

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To find out who the elected Somerset Councillor is for a particular area, simply visit

Somerset Council  County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY


Industrial action suspended

We can confirm that strike action by Somerset waste collection crews has been suspended for two weeks pending a union ballot.
Talks today between the Unite union and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK – the Council’s collections contractor – made progress and the union has agreed to ballot its membership on an improved pay offer.
The strike action that was planned to start on Wednesday (12 July) has been suspended pending the outcome of the ballot and all collections services should be running as normal.
Residents are asked to present their refuse, recycling and garden waste as usual.
There is a chance that tomorrow’s services may be compromised to some extent given the late notice of suspension of industrial action.
There is some way to go and a risk of industrial action remains, but the immediate widespread disruption to collections has been avoided.
The online garden waste form has been reinstated to take new subscriptions, renewals and requests for replacement garden waste bins.  We are also taking requests for container deliveries.
In the coming days we will be working through reinstating bulk waste collections.
Please continue to use the website for the latest updates and advice.


SWP May 2023

SWP April 2023