RECYCLING centres in Wellington and Bridgwater will open for extra days next week following a major fire at the Taunton site.

The Priorswood facility on Taunton's Crown Industrial Estate will remain closed until further notice for safety reasons following the blaze in the early hours of Tuesday (October 3).

At this stage, the cause of the fire is unknown and crews are still in attendance today (Thursday, October 5) tackling small persistent fires.


Residents are urged to stay away from the site and heed the road closed signs – the gates remain open so that fire services have access, but the site is closed. They should keep windows and doors closed if any areas are still affected by smoke.

The recycling centre in Wellington, which is usually closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, will open Monday to Sunday next week, while Bridgwater, which is normally closed on Wednesdays but will also open seven days next week. Staff from Taunton have been redeployed to Wellington and Bridgwater.

The extra opening is an option for people who would usually use the Taunton site which has been closed since the fire.

People who would have used the Taunton site, which is visited by an average 700 people a day, should either:

  • hold on to their recycling if it can wait;
  • put it in their kerbside recycling if it is the right kind of material;
  • or try one of the council’s other 15 sites if it is waste that urgently needs to go.

Cllr Dixie Darch, Somerset Council’s lead member for climate and the environment, said: “This is big disruption for a lot of people. We apologise for that but hope everyone understands why it’s just not possible to reopen the site at this stage.

“We’ve arranged extra opening at the nearest alternative sites to offer some help and will work with Biffa to do whatever we can to get Taunton back up and running soon.”

The fire has seriously damaged the Material Recovery Facility next to the public recycling site.

The building, where recycling is sorted for sending out to be reprocessed, is considered structurally unsafe.

Specialist engineers are expected to assess the building early next week once it is safe to access.