Skip to main content
Warning triangle

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visit our coronavirus pages for the latest updates.

Weekly food waste collections to start from October

Fruit and vegetables with smiley faces drawn on

A dedicated weekly food waste collection service for households will launch this October in Bracknell Forest to reduce the borough’s impact on climate change.

On Tuesday (28 January), Executive councillors approved proposals to implement a weekly food waste collection this autumn.

The Executive approved:

Introducing a weekly food waste collection service to all houses in Bracknell Forest from 5 October, 2020.

Encouraging all residents to reduce, reuse and recycle everything possible to cut the amount of waste going to landfill.

Maximising performance of the food waste collection service by changing refuse collection frequency to once every 3 weeks.

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.

Bracknell Forest’s recycling rate has plateaued over the past few years at around 40% in total and, as part of its response to climate change, the council is committed to improving that rate and the proposals agreed will provide that opportunity.

Other UK councils with less than fortnightly refuse collections have seen their recycling rate grow by around 6% on average. Bracknell Forest aims to achieve and exceed this with a target of 10% compared to 2018/19 figures.

Recent waste surveys have shown that food waste accounts for 42% of waste in residual waste bins. Around another 19% of waste that goes in residents’ residual bins could be recycled, either in the blue recycling bin or via one of the numerous recycling banks.

Food can cause odour in bins so this change will allow more frequent collections from a small lockable caddy, designed to prevent animals accessing the contents. A mixture of items can be put in the food recycling caddy including:

  • all cooked and uncooked food
  • meat and fish bones
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • vegetable peelings, banana skins and apple cores
  • pet food
  • out of date food (without packaging)
  • cooking oil in a sealed plastic bottle (this needs to be in the outdoor caddy on collection day)

While the finer details of the scheme now need to be worked out, including specific food waste collection days, the council will support residents to get ready for these changes with more detailed information being made available over the coming months.

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

“To help us all tackle the growing issue of climate change, a new weekly food waste collection will start in October 2020 for all houses in Bracknell Forest.

“By recycling food waste we are aiming to increase recycling rates by around 10% in the next year and create renewable energy at the same time. It’s an environmental win-win.

“Additionally, recycling more will help reduce the financial cost of throwing waste in landfill, which could cost taxpayers millions of pounds over the next few years. This money can be ploughed into other essential services instead, including supporting our most vulnerable residents.”

Notes

Bracknell Forest Council’s recycling rate is currently around 40%. Adding a food waste collection could increase that to 50% by the end of 2020 and help us work toward the government target of 65% by 2030.

The scheme will launch for all houses in Bracknell Forest from 5 October 2020. Flats will be added at a later date.

It will work by:

  1. BFC supplying residents with two special food waste caddies in September 2020, a 5L one for internal use and a 23L one for external use. The 23L caddy will be collected each week from October 2020.
  2. Collecting blue recycling bins every two weeks. More items have recently been added to the list of things that can be recycled in blue bins.
  3. Collecting green bins with waste that can only be landfilled every 3 weeks.

Household waste and recycling can also be taken to either Longshot Lane or Smallmead sites.

The brown bin and sack scheme for garden waste will remain unaffected.

Residents who have a genuine and unavoidable need for extra green bin collections will be able to contact the waste team well in advance of the scheme launching. The team will work directly with these people to make sure they get the right collection service and larger bins or extra collections, where needed.

More information is available on our food waste collections page.