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One blue bag challenge

One blue bag challenge

21 February 2022
Image of blue bag, food waste caddy and two green waterproof recycling bags

Every week, households in Wokingham borough throw away over 570 tonnes of rubbish  but over 50% of this could be recycled – much of this, at home, through your kerbside recycling collections. Wokingham Borough Council is urging its residents to do more.

Food currently makes up almost a quarter of what goes into the average blue waste bag. It doesn't seem like much on its own, but there are more than 75,000 households in the borough so it all adds up - and costs the council over £500,000 a year to dispose of. 


The average blue bag also contains 13 per cent paper, metal, cardboard and plastic while textiles make up five per cent and glass and garden waste each make up four per cent. Those materials could be recycled again and again or be used to create energy, but currently it’s just being thrown away.

On food waste recycling alone, residents are doing a great job. More than 11,000 tonnes of food waste have been recycled since April 2019. That’s enough to power all homes in the borough for almost a week. 

The amount of food waste thrown away has dropped from 40 per cent before the food waste recycling collections were introduced to nearly 25% - but the council is urging its residents to do more, both for the environment and for council taxpayers.


Using the weekly food waste and recycling collection service will help save money as well as the environment. In fact, the council spends almost £4 million per year to dispose of the refuse collected in the blue bags when over half that amount could be recycled.


Executive member for environment Cllr Parry Batth said, “We are challenging our residents to the ONE BLUE BAG CHALLENGE. If we all only use one blue bag per week for each household, this would significantly reduce the amount of rubbish we send to landfill or burn for energy. If you’re already doing a great job reducing your waste, try challenging yourself to one bag every other week.”


Recycling saves money, as it costs much less to recycle waste than it does to dispose of it. It also conserves precious resources by turning them into products and saves energy by making products out of recycled, rather than raw materials. It also reduces landfill. The food waste placed in food caddies can be processed and turned into fertiliser as well as capturing methane to turn into electricity.


Cllr Batth continued: “All improvements, no matter how small, will reduce the amount being disposed of and everyone has the power to make a big difference. Buy less, recycle more and feed your food caddy. We’re in this together, let’s all play our part.”

More from Wokingham Borough Council

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