Message from Cllr Tony Page, Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning & Transport (18/9/19)
At the moment, Reading’s residents recycle 32 per cent of their household waste but our ambition is to get that figure up to 50 per cent.
One of the ways we hope to achieve that is by introducing a new weekly food waste collection service from as early as autumn 2020, and I know this will be welcomed by many people.
The food waste collected from Reading households will be sent to an anaerobic digestion plant and processed into biogas which will be used for electricity, as well as fertiliser for use on farm land. This is much better for the environment than sending it to landfill and will help us with our ambition to make Reading a carbon neutral town by 2030. It’s also cheaper! For every lorry load of food that is composted instead of sent to landfill we save £100.
We also know that many residents want to do the right thing when it comes to recycling, but feel confused about what they can and can’t put in their red recycling bin. So over the coming year we’ll be providing more and better information about all the different items which can be recycled in kerbside collection, in bring banks across the Borough and at re3, our local recycling centre.
Part of the planned changes to waste services will be to replace the current 240 litre grey bins with 140 litre ones. Research shows this encourages people to sort even more of their waste for recycling. We recently analysed the waste in grey bins in Reading and this showed that almost 20% of what people currently put in their grey bin could go in their red recycling bin.
Today we’re announcing these proposed changes. However there’s lots of work to do – from ordering new food waste trucks and bins to planning the most efficient routes for the trucks and recruiting drivers and waste operatives. We’re currently working through all this detail and throughout the year we’ll keep you up to date, including giving you all the information and equipment you need to take part nearer the time.
In the meantime, you should keep using your existing bins as you currently do. You can also join in the drive to recycle more – find out more about recycling on our website or use the re3 recycling app to look up any item and find out where to recycle it.
Thank you to all Reading residents who do such a good job at recycling already and I hope you can join us in our campaign to reach that 50 per cent target!