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New year, new recycling service

food waste

In less than 2 months Bracknell Forest residents will be able to take advantage of a new food waste recycling scheme, as part of the council’s plans to help tackle climate change and reduce its impact on the environment.

With collections starting from 1 March 2021, residents of houses will be able to recycle all their food waste including cooking oils and leftover pet food. Food waste will then be collected from its outdoor caddy and taken to an anaerobic digestion plant where it’s made into energy and fertiliser.

To get started, residents will receive the following between 25 January and 26 February 2021:

  • a black 23 litre outdoor caddy
  • a silver 5 litre indoor caddy
  • one roll of 50 green plastic indoor caddy liners
  • service leaflet that includes collection schedule

Households should open their caddies as soon as they receive them as there is important information inside, such as how to use the service and a new waste collection schedule.

At present, around 43% of the contents from the average green bin is food waste and a further 20% is materials that could be recycled. By recycling our food waste and other materials properly, we can aim to reduce the amount we send to landfill by 50%.

With more space in our general waste bins and to maximise the performance of our new food waste collections, green bin collections will move from every 2 weeks to every 3 weeks. This also offsets the cost of introducing the new service, as to add food waste collections without changing our current service would cost Bracknell Forest taxpayers around £2.29 million over the next 7 years.

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

“We had to delay the original roll out date of the new food waste service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the production of the food waste vehicles had been halted. We now have everything in place, and we’re excited to go live on 1 March.

“Recycling food waste is the next logical step in reducing our landfill waste. No matter how small, everyone generates food waste, whether it’s peelings from an onion or chicken bones it all helps towards creating energy to power our homes and fertiliser to help local crops.

“Some residents may be apprehensive about moving to 3 weekly collections for green bins and we understand their concerns. However, by taking out food waste and all other recyclable materials, households should have enough space for that extra weeks’ worth of waste. As always bin lids should remain closed and nappies and pet waste should be bagged to reduce smells.

“Likewise, with the food waste service, houses will receive lockable indoor and outdoor caddies, which if used correctly, will prevent bad smells.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for our borough, and as proven by some of our neighbouring authorities, a success in increasing recycling rates. Look out for more information on our social media channels in the coming months.”

You can contact the waste team for support and advice if you are concerned and have a genuine and unavoidable need for extra waste capacity. They will have a number of solutions that they can offer, and these will be tailored to individual circumstances.