Somerset County Council hope to achieve more than a 50% recycling rate this year rather than in 2010 the official Government target. The announcement follows on from the signing of a new seven year contract between the Somerset Waste Partnership and ECT recycling. At the moment Somerset residents do not have their plastic bottles or cardboard collected but the new contract opens up the possibility for the items to be collected, to boost recycling rates. Last year Somerset achieved a recycling rate of more than 47% compared to a national rate of around 30%. It collects dry recyclables and food waste separately on a weekly basis from three districts and collects whatever is leftover fortnightly. A Somerset County Council spokesman said: We have very high satisfaction rates with our residents because of our weekly collections. Unlike alternate weekly collections, we do not get the usual complaints of people complaining of rats or maggots around their rubbish. This makes our fortnightly waste collections more palatable. The Somerset Waste Partnership was formed from October 1 and has brought six councils in Somerset under one umbrella group to deal with its waste management. Managing director Steve Read said: This is an important step towards our aim of recycling over 50% of our household waste, and we are all delighted to be working with ECT. The new contract provides excellent value for money, with a projected saving of £1.7 million, and includes running trials next spring to add cardboard and plastic bottles to the kerbside.