Reusable nappies and a shop: Plans to reduce waste in North Somerset approved

North Somerset recycling and waste bins NSC

The plan aims to reduce the amount of waste produced in North Somerset - Credit: North Somerset Council

Promoting reusable nappies and opening a reuse or repair shop are among ideas aimed at reducing the amount of waste produced in North Somerset.

The schemes are vaunted in North Somerset Council's (NSC) new Recycling and Waste Strategy 2021-2030, approved by the executive this week.

The plans form part of NSC's work towards the area becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Produced in consultation with residents and businesses, the strategy aims to reduce the amount of waste produced by encouraging people to change the way they think about waste and to prioritise reducing, reusing and then recycling.

Over the past 15 years, waste from households across North Somerset has halved, from around 60,000 tonnes in 2005/6 to around 30,000 tonnes in 2019/20. 

Actions outlined in the plan aim to achieve:

  • A reduction in residual waste (waste that is not recycled or reused) of 15 per cent below the level of 2019/20 by 2030
  • A recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2030
  • Diversion of all non-recyclable, kerbside collected household waste away from landfill by end of 2022
  • Improved recycling facilities at all flat blocks and more food waste collections in phases in line with the Environment Act (2021) by 2023
  • Expansion of the commercial waste service to serve more businesses, schools and events in North Somerset each year
  • Fewer incidents of litter and fly-tipping in North Somerset through improved reporting, increasing education and enforcement activities
  • Improved appearance of our streets and open spaces
  • Progress towards a circular economy where waste is treated as a valuable resource rather than disposed of.

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Councillor Mike Solomon, NSC's executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said the plans were 'ambitious', but could 'make a difference'.

"Transforming the way that we manage waste is a vital part of the fight against climate change and helps to deliver our vision for a greener North Somerset," he said.

"Recycling rates have improved over the past 10 years, and we are now the best performing council in the south west and seventh in England. 

"However, there’s still more to do. We know that 45 per cent of an average household bin in North Somerset contains material that could have been recycled, 27 per cent of which is food waste. 

"Just on this point alone, food waste is a valuable material that we can turn into biogas to power homes. 

"Our new recycling and waste strategy will help us to focus on reducing and reusing resources first and foremost."

The strategy includes a wealth of plans to inform and educate the public on how they can reduce waste, as well as promoting initiatives such as the North Somerset Nappy Schemes, which helps people try reusable nappies.

The strategy outlines how each baby will get though 5,000 disposable nappies, contributing to the eight million a year disposed of across the UK.

"Switching to reusable nappies even part time will help reduce waste and save families money," it says. 

The idea of opening a re-use or repair shop is also highlighted, in a bid to 'demonstrate, support and promote the value of re-use'.

A similar store was opened a number of years ago at the Priorswood Recycling Centre in Taunton.

For more information, the full strategy is available on the council's website, at

North Somerset Council will produce an annual summary to show the progress it’s making on the strategy.