The task involved local people, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP), Somerset County Council’s civil contingencies team, and the Somerset Rural Community Council’s village agent.
Flooded roads in and out of the villages are impassable except by the largest tractors, and so scores of households have been without waste collections, leaving their rubbish and recycling piling up.
Villagers were alerted by their parish chair, Alastair Mullineux, and Thorney-based village agent Carolyn Roche, to take their non-recyclable refuse in black sacks to collection points.
SWP and the contingencies team arranged for local farmer Mike Curtis to collect the waste and take it on a large tractor and high trailer to a SWP refuse truck waiting beyond the floods.
One villager said: “The only way in and out is by boat so I think many people are buying less, wasting less, and composting more at home. It was very useful to get the refuse taken away.”
SWP Team Leader Colin Mercer said: “Everyone pulled together to get the refuse removed, and after a few early hitches, the operation went off very smoothly.”
Villagers have been told that their dry recycling will be collected once water levels fall, but another “refuse rescue” may be required if further rain means that roads remain flooded.