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Food waste collections postponed to March 2021

bread rolls, rolling down a hill with smiley faces

The council’s decision-making Executive has agreed to postpone the introduction of weekly food waste collections due to the coronavirus pandemic. Collections will be begin in March 2021 for houses.

Flats and houses of multiple occupation with communal bins will see collections begin in autumn 2021.

In January 2020, we announced plans to reduce the borough’s impact on climate change through cutting landfill waste. This would be achieved by a weekly food waste collection from October 2020.

The pandemic has meant that communicating the changes regularly via face-to-face events, drop-ins and meetings has not been possible – either due to social distancing rules or other public health messages taking priority. This means residents are not as informed as they should be on the changes in readiness for an October launch.

Also, production of the 5 food waste collection vehicles was paused because of the pandemic - with no current delivery date confirmed. Work to revise and re-route waste collections has stalled due to pandemic-related staff shortages.

With the 5-month delay agreed, all the preparation work can now take place, so residents are fully informed and ready.

Cllr Mrs Dorothy Hayes, MBE, Executive Member for Environment, said:

“We are still very much committed to tackling the growing issue of climate change. Unfortunately, we are in unprecedented times and we’ve not been able to complete the necessary preparatory work needed for a successful launch in October 2020.

“However, with the delay until March 2021 agreed, we can now communicate and engage with residents properly, which hasn’t been possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By introducing weekly food waste collections, we will not only increase our recycling rates but also reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, which without this implementation, could cost taxpayers millions of pounds over the next few years. The money saved can be ploughed into other essential services instead, including supporting our most vulnerable residents.”

Back in January, Executive councillors approved proposals to:

  • introduce a weekly food waste collection service to all houses in Bracknell Forest
  • encourage all residents to reduce, reuse and recycle everything possible to cut the amount of waste going to landfill
  • maximise performance of the food waste collection service by changing refuse collection frequency to once every 3 weeks

Once launched, the weekly food waste collection for every house in the borough aims to cut the amount of rubbish going to environmentally costly landfill sites by around 4,000 tonnes a year.

This waste will then be turned into renewable energy and recycled into fertiliser.

Our recycling rate has plateaued over the past few years at around 40% in total. As part of our response to climate change, we are committed to improving that rate. The proposals agreed will provide that opportunity.

From autumn 2020, information events will be held to provide residents with the opportunity to ask questions before the launch.

Visit our food waste collections page for more information.