Trailblazing recycling and waste trial for North Somerset


As a council that is always looking for ways to improve services, North Somerset Council will soon trial an innovative new approach to kerbside recycling and waste collections never before seen in the UK.

Using a sample of households, the initial trial is planned to start today (Monday 15 May) and take four weeks. It will look at the advantages and disadvantages of using larger bins which feature four compartments, three wheels and a lid. Residents taking part in the trial will use these new style bins instead of their existing multiple recycling and waste containers.

The bins will be collected by a specialist recycling vehicle which features a unique lift mechanism that matches the bin’s four compartments to the lorry’s four collection chambers. It is shorter than the council’s current standard waste lorries.

It is hoped that the new system could provide a range of benefits to households including increased recycling capacity and ease of sorting, an easier to move bin and reduction of litter.

If the trial is successful and the new system implemented, the council would reduce the number of journeys needed to collect household recycling and waste – reducing pollution, congestion on the roads and saving the council money.

Lucy Shomali, North Somerset Council's Director of Place, said: “It’s exciting to see North Somerset trialing this innovative technology, a first in the UK. Despite our existing excellent track record for recycling, we’re striving to improve even further by trailblazing more efficient and effective collection methods. This project fits squarely with our vision to be a leading authority in minimising waste and tackling the climate emergency.

“It’s important for residents to be aware that this is purely a trial at this stage. We haven’t made a commitment beyond this initial trial. Depending on the feedback and outcomes we see, further trials will be needed before councillors can review the results and decide how best to proceed. Residents not taking part in the trial will not see any changes to their current collection arrangements.”

The system, called ‘Quatro’, has been used in Scandinavia for around 20 years. It has been identified as a potential advancement by North Somerset Environment Company (NSEC), an arm's length organisation that supplies the council’s recycling and waste services, by working with one if its key suppliers NTM.

Recycling rates for 2021/22, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in March, named North Somerset Council as the fourth best performing English unitary council, and twelfth best council in the country overall.

For more information about the project, visit and North Somerset Council’s recycling and waste team’s social media accounts: Facebook ( and Twitter (