A statement from Simon Dale, Wokingham Borough Council's interim director of place and growth:
At a full council meeting on Thursday 23 March, a majority of councillors present voted to support a petition to keep weekly collections.
The council’s constitution gives decision-making powers to its executive committee rather than to the full council, meaning that the vote last night is advisory only and does not reverse the decision made by the executive on Tuesday.
We need to reassure residents that the proposal to change to fortnightly collections for rubbish and recycling, with wheeled bins for rubbish, still stands and we are starting to work on the change programme.
We know that this is the right thing for the residents of Wokingham Borough, as it will increase our recycling rate and save us £500,000 in the first year and £1million every year after that.
The vast majority of councils collect general rubbish fortnightly because it provides the best balance of needs – financial, environmental, and convenience for residents.
We asked residents for their views on these changes in a survey late last year. More than 9,000 people took part in the consultation, which is a good response rate. Of those, 24 per cent said they like the idea of moving to fortnightly collections – that is more than signed the petition to save weekly collections.
Another 43 per cent said they can accept fortnightly collections, which is the same number who said they like the idea of having a wheeled bin for rubbish, which is only possible with the change to fortnightly collections. All of our neighbours in Berkshire already do this – as do 85 per cent of councils across the country.
For those with genuine concerns about the changes, like large families with children, exceptions will be made. The details of the changes will be considered and shared with residents before roll out. And, further survey work will take place to look at how suitable certain property types are for the changes.
Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive approved a proposal on Tuesday 21 March that would see the borough’s rubbish and recycling collections frequency change.
The current system has everything collected weekly, with the exception of garden waste which is a paid for service and is collected fortnightly. The approved changes would see general rubbish collected one week and recycling the next, with food waste continuing weekly and garden waste continuing to be a paid-for fortnightly service.
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