RECYCLING centres in Wellington and Bridgwater are to stay open seven days a week indefinitely to ease pressure for the public after a devastating fire at Somerset Council's Taunton recycling site.

Both Wellington and Bridgwater usually close for part of each week, but the council has taken a decision to keep them open until it can safely re-open the Priorswood site, part of which has been left structurally unsound.

However, visitors are being warned that the Wellington site has been experiencing greater numbers of users on Wednesdays and if possible they are are asked to avoid it and use Bridgwater instead, which is less busy on a Wednesday.

Teams from Taunton recycling site have been redeployed to help in Wellington and Bridgwater and will meet and greet visitors during busier periods.

A small fire still smouldering in the Taunton centre nearly two weeks on from the start of the blaze has meant it is uncertain when it can be reopened.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue has confirmed the cause of the blaze was accidental.

The brigade said the contents of the site’s material recovery facility building, where items are sorted before being sent for reprocessing, were ‘completely destroyed’ by the blaze.

Taunton averages about 700 visitors a day and residents who would usually use it are asked to either:

  • Hold on to their recycling if it can wait

  • Put it in their kerbside recycling if it is the right kind of material

  • Try one of the council’s other 15 sites if it is waste that urgently needs to go

Somerset Council has 16 recycling sites across the county which are managed on its behalf by Biffa.

Details of the sites can be found online here.

Fire crews from Wellington, Wiveliscombe, Williton, and Minehead were among 60 firefighters who tackled the blaze at its height in the early hours of the morning of October 3.