This week has seen the start of our food waste recycling collections for 3,000 early adopter households in Reading. The main roll out was delayed by coronavirus, but from next year the vast majority of residents will be able to have their food waste collected weekly, which will be a really important step in increasing the amount of recycling in the Borough to our target of over 50%. More on how the service will work, including smaller general waste bins to help encourage the new food recycling scheme.
The new food waste collection service is being accompanied by 140l general waste bins replacing the current 240l grey bins, with research showing that the reduction encourages greater levels of recycling. It has been found that 8% of the contents of general waste bins is mixed recycling, such as cans, paper and plastic, which can be recycled through the Council’s kerbside recycling collections. The old bins will be taken away to be reused or recycled into new bins. Households that currently have large or multiple grey bins and still need the extra capacity will be able to contact the Council so it can assess their needs.
The scheme will play a big part in the Borough’s commitment to the environment and its ambitions to raise recycling rates to above 50%. re3 estimates that if each household in Reading recycles 1kg of food (the equivalent of a bag of apples) each week, it will have the same environmental impact as taking 8,700 cars off the road in terms of the amount of methane captured at the anaerobic digestion plant during the food recycling process. As this is then converted into electricity on site, it would create enough energy to power 315 homes on ongoing basis.
Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said: “Food waste collections are a vital step in helping Reading achieve higher recycling rates. Recycling more benefits the environment and means the council can reduce the amount of council tax-payers’ money going on landfill fees. That’s why we have set a target for Reading to reach a 55% recycling rate by 2025.
“Food waste will be collected every week: we can all do our bit by using the kerbside food waste and recycling service and only using the new 140l residual bins for items that can’t be recycled kerbside, via bring banks or at the Smallmead Recycling Centre on Island Road. Now that a wider variety of plastics can be recycled kerbside, some households may need a second red recycling bin or box: these can provided free of charge if you go to www.reading.gov.uk/environment/waste-and-recycling/order-a-bin-or-bag/.”