RECYCLING sites across Somerset are set to stay open later this summer.

All recycling sites will open until 4pm on both Saturdays and Sundays and close at 6pm on summer weekdays and 5pm on winter weekdays from Monday, April 1.

Reflecting site users' demands and keeping all 16 sites open, each site's hours will meet existing and future demand and help limit congestion.

However, due to lower user numbers early in the day, all sites will open at 9am.

The changes include:

• Year-round 9am - 4pm weekend hours at all sites, on Sundays as well as Saturdays

• Later summer (6pm April - September) and winter (5pm October - March) weekday closing

• Same number or extra days at 10 sites, including a day more at Chard and Wells (Dulcote)

• Fewer days at six, such as saved-from-closure Crewkerne and Dulverton

• Reflecting low user numbers early in the day, all sites will start work at 9am

• With 6pm summer weekday closing, an end to underused 7pm Monday evenings

Crewkerne and Dulverton, sites with lowest use and highest per visit costs, will have fewer hours but will end their £2 cash entry fees by April 2020.

The changes, from behind the scenes improvements to a small overall reduction in site hours, form part of a contract extension deal that will save a total of more than £14 million.

SWP managing director, Mickey Green, said: “These improvements reflect what customers have told us they want, especially all sites opening Sunday afternoons and later summer evenings.

"Most importantly, they ensure all 16 sites stay open, and that each site's hours carefully match the existing use and future needs as Somerset’s population and housing stock expands.”