Residents are set to receive enhanced weekly rubbish and recycling collections, if a new food waste service is approved.
Wokingham Borough Council’s executive is being asked to approve in principle a new weekly food waste collection service that could boost recycling rates and save the taxpayer money.
The proposals follow a residents’ survey, which revealed that people supported their recycling and weekly collections.
Currently Wokingham recycles around 40% of its waste – under government guidelines this must rise to 50% by 2020.
“We are retaining the popular weekly collections which residents overwhelmingly tell us they value, while maintaining the existing number of blue bags,” Cllr Simon Weeks, executive member for planning and enforcement, said.
“Our data shows that around 30% of the general waste we collect is food. If even only half of that is put in a separate food container that will boost the amount we recycle to a further 5,000 tonnes a year.
“Recycling another 5,000 tonnes of waste a year would not only save a considerable amount of money but will get us close to the 50% we must recycle by 2020.
“These fox and rat proof containers will reduce pressure for those who find the number of blue bags difficult to operate within and of course increased recycling will help the environment.”
If approved, the new service would see borough residents provided with a 23 litre, sealed food waste bin plus a smaller caddie they can keep in their kitchens.
The food waste bin would be collected weekly alongside the black box of dry recyclables and blue bags for general waste.
Collecting general waste costs the council £170 per tonne whereas recyclable items cost just £60 per tonne.
Recent research undertaken by the council showed that 77% of residents were happy with the current kerbside collection but there were concerns about animals opening blue waste bags for food.
The consultation also showed that although there was overwhelming support for recycling there were clear divisions on the frequency of collections and wheelie bins.
“We’ve listened to our residents and we feel this is best move to provide the level of service they desire while helping the environment and saving money," Cllr Weeks added.
“We all need to work together to achieve this and we hope residents will continue to help us by recycling as much as they can.”
If the executive approves in principle the introduction of a new food waste service when it meets on 28 September, a further financial report will be produced for it to consider before adopting the scheme.
Should the service receive the final green light, food waste collections could get underway from 2019.