Card-only cashless recycling sites in Somerset are proving a strong success.
Long-term trials at two sites were rolled out to all 16 locations at the start of September, and no problems have been reported after the first week of use among thousands of visitors.
Almost all recycling site payments are now taken only on credit, debit and charge cards. The only exceptions are paying at the Reuse Shop within Taunton (Priorswood) Recycling Centre, and the £2 cash entry fees for Crewkerne and Dulverton community recycling sites.
A Somerset waste Partnership spokesman said: “Both customers and staff found the new payments easy to operate, just as in any retail outlet, and it is already becoming routine.
“If anyone thinks they may have a site payment problem, they should see staff before unloading. “The switch from cash to cards does not involve any changes in prices or any new charges.”
Following many months of successful trials at both Chard and Taunton recycling sites since 2016, councillors from all six Somerset authorities agreed the move to card-only payments.
Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, Visa Electron and Diner’s Club, including contactless, are all accepted, enhancing efficiency, security and the safety of staff.
Card payments are taken at all recycling sites for charged-for materials classified as non-household but brought in by residents: hardcore, soil, gas bottles and tyres.
Unusually, 10 sites accept a wide range of businesses’ paid-for commercial waste, while in a separate scheme, 10 sites take residents’ paid-for vehicle parts for recycling or disposal.
Plastic-only payments are taken for “Revive” soil conditioner composted from Somerset’s garden waste and sold at £4 for a bag and £10 for three bags by every recycling site.
The system for paying for domestic asbestos and plasterboard online in advance at the Somerset Waste Partnership website is staying unchanged. Recycling sites highlighted the change to card payments for weeks in advance with flyers, signage and advice from staff to customers.
Details of all recycling sites, from opening hours to materials taken and links to lists of charges,
can be found at http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/sites/.