Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Replace, Recycle . . .
Reducing waste is by far the best thing you can do in this spectrum. Don’t buy things you don’t really need. The energy saved from making, packaging, shipping, displaying . . . a product is substantial.
Re-use is better than recycling, which takes far more energy to do. Reusable bottles and cups for water or hot-drinks are much better than single-use forms. Ideally, we would have reusable packaging (eg bottles, jars etc that could be returned intact to be washed and reused) rather than recyclable packaging (or even worse non-recyclable disposable wrappings).
Recycling is good in terms of resource depletion and waste management. In terms of your carbon footprint, its total impact is surprisingly small. We should all definitely efficiently recycle everything we can, but bear in mind it’s possible (and probably quite common) to be a good recycler and still have a huge environmental footprint. For example, recycling everybit of plastic packaging you can across a year saves less than 50 kg of CO2 relative to average emissions of 12 tonnes (12,000 kg).
How you can recycle in Wells
Kerbside recycling picks up every week most of the standard stuff: Food waste, paper, cardboard, tins, bottles, foil, some plastic (milk bottles).
Other plastics can be taken to most recycling centers (eg the Dulcote one) where they accept yoghurt pots, plastic water bottles, tubs and trays, and tetrapaks. They promise they recycle it all – 90% in the UK and they don’t ship unsorted waste to developing countries.
Morrisons currently accepts some other types of plastics. Plastic Carrier Bags, Plastic bread bags, Plastic wrappers and ring joiners from multipacks, Plastic wrappers from toilet roll and kitchen towel packs, Plastic freezer bags, Plastic magazine and newspaper wrap, Thin bags used for fruit and veg at supermarkets, Bubble wrap. There is also a cage outside, or sometimes inside, Tesco in Wells that takes all the stretchy plastic.
In 2020, a new fleet of recycling lorries will be able to pick up more plastics (pots, tubs, trays and Tetra Paks – all the things we can currently take to the recycling centres ) as part of the weekly recycling pickup called Recycle More. It will all be taken to a state-of-the-art recycling centre.
Our non-recyclable waste is currently taken to landfill within Somerset. From 2020 the waste that can’t be recycled will be taken to a new facility in Avonmouth and burned, producing electricity in the process.
If you have any other details, suggestions or corrections about how to recycle in Wells please do let us know.
Refilling your water bottle
If you are thirsty while out and about in Wells the following places offer free water bottle refills: Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Liberty Cafe Bar, Swan Hotel, Costa, Strangers With Coffee, Oxfam, Quarterjack, Gregs, Pickwicks and probably many more. The App “Refill” can show you the nearest refill stations wherever you are.