Bin rounds are being re-organised to make the service more efficient and make savings in the face of unprecedented Government cuts in funding.
Also from today (13th February) residents are being asked to help the Council make savings by not overfilling bins, not putting excess waste by the side of their bins and making sure they recycle the correct items.
The changes aim to make the service more efficient, drive up recycling rates and reduce the amount of household waste going to landfill.
Government funding for Council services in Reading has been cut from £57.5 million in 2011/12 to around £10 million in 2017/18. By 2019/20 that figure will be cut to less than £2 million. The Council has already agreed £70 million worth of savings since 2011. Latest estimates are that another £44 million needs to be saved by 2019/20.
The Council’s refuse collection service needs to make savings of nearly 20 per cent to its current operating budget of £2.1 million by the end of 2017/18.
Councillor Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, said:
“We have been counting down to this week for months now and have done our best to ensure as many people as possible know these changes are coming.
“I would ask residents to check their calendars for the new collection days to avoid their bins being missed.
“Apart from bin day changes, we also need residents’ help in making savings by ensuring bin lids are shut, no extra waste is left out and the correct items are put in the recycling bin. This way our crews should be able to empty your bins quickly and efficiently every week and ensure more waste is recycled.”
For every tonne of household waste which goes to landfill, it costs the Council £167. In Reading last year landfill charges cost the Council Tax payer £2.4m. At a time of unprecedented cuts in Government funding and increasing demands on services, the Council needs to reduce landfill charges to make savings, as well as to benefit the environment.
While bin collection rounds will change from this week, there will be no change in the regularity of grey and red bin collections. Collection days for garden waste will not change at this time.
Also from today, households are being asked for their co-operation with the following measures:
Closed bin policy: Only bins with closed lids will be collected
No side waste: Excess waste and items left at the side of the bin will not be collected
One bin policy: The council will collect one standard 240 litre grey bin and at least one recycling bin/box from domestic properties on a fortnightly basis. Larger bins may be available in some circumstances. A review of properties with more than one grey bin will be carried out to determine whether the extra capacity is necessary.
Recycling: Red bins/boxes will not be collected if they contain incorrect items, such as black plastic bags and plastic carrier bags, food waste, yoghurt pots, meat trays, butter tubs, glass bottles and jars or textiles.
The Council is very happy to take mixed paper and card, food tins, drinks cans, aerosols and plastic bottles without their lids for recycling.
Small electrical items measuring under 30cm x 24cm, such as kettles, toasters, irons, hair dryers, radios and small power tools, will also be collected when left in an untied bag by recycling bins and boxes.
Notes for Editors:
The council provides a waste and recycling collection service for 68,500 households and this is set to increase by about 2,500 properties in the next three years. This does not take into account the conversion of commercial properties to residential under permitted development without the usual planning conditions around provision of suitable waste storage facilities.
Some properties have too many grey bins for the number of residents and these will be reviewed. A similar exercise in 2009 found 3,500 additional grey bins were being used and it is suspected the number could be similar today.
Reading currently sends 27.4 per cent of its municipal waste to landfill with 72.6 per cent being recycled, composted or sent for Energy from Waste. The recycling rate for 2015/16 was 33 per cent. All waste authorities must reach a target 50 per cent recycling rate by 2020.