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Separate Weekly Food Waste Collection Service

Would you use this service?

Consultation status Results published
Start date: 2022-03-22
End date: 2022-05-03
Results 2022-05-31
Category: Rubbish and Recycling
Ward:

Activity closed.


Background

Currently, residents in West Berkshire (with the exception of those using communal bins) can put their food waste out for collection every two weeks using their green bin, even without a subscription to our chargeable garden waste collection service.

Recent analysis of the type of waste put into the black bins shows that around 25% of the contents, equivalent to about 9,000 tonnes each year, is still made up of food waste. The contents of black bins are either sent to "energy from waste" incineration facilities or goes into landfill.

As part of regulatory requirements set out in the UK government's Environment Act 2021, all local authorities in England will be required to provide free weekly food waste collections from households by 2025. By introducing these changes now, we can ensure that our recycling and rubbish collections are compliant with emerging government measures.

The introduction of a separate weekly food waste service was approved by elected Members at the Executive Meeting on 2 September 2021.


What will the new service be like?

We'll provide a new separate weekly food waste collection service, for which you won't have to pay a subscription. It will be collected weekly, but on the same day as your usual recycling and rubbish collection, starting in autumn 2022. As with all our recycling and rubbish collections, the service will be operated by our contractor, Veolia UK, as part of our existing Integrated Waste Management Contract. The food waste will be collected using eight new purpose-built vehicles.

We'll give the majority of properties a 23-litre kerbside caddy with a lockable lid, which can be stored outside with other existing recycling containers. Residents will also be supplied with a 5-litre kitchen caddy to collect their food waste in before emptying it into their bigger caddy outside.

Properties that have communal bins will also be provided with 5-litre kitchen caddies, and a suitable number of 240-litre wheeled bins to be stored along with the current communal bins.

The benefits of introducing a separate food waste collection service include:

  • A predicted increase in our overall recycling rate from approximately 50% to nearly 60%.
  • More food waste would be composted instead of being burnt to create energy or going into landfill.
  • Compost made from the food waste can be used by local farmers and landscapers as a natural soil improver, which has greater environmental benefits.
  • Collecting food waste more frequently would reduce concerns about smelly black bins, especially during periods of warmer weather.
  • Increased food waste recycling would contribute towards the reduction of carbon emissions, and help us meet our objective of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, as set out in our Environment Strategy.

Why we want your views

We'd like to better understand your recycling habits, whether you think it's important to recycle food waste, and if you'd use the new service when it starts in autumn 2022.

We'd also like to hear from people who don't currently recycle their food waste to find out what, if anything, is stopping them from doing so.


How to take part

If you'd like take part, please complete our online survey by midnight on Tuesday, 3 May 2022, which should take about 5 minutes.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us at recycle@westberks.gov.uk

You can find out more by visiting our webpage.


What happens next

We'll take what we've learnt from your responses and, where possible, use relevant feedback to improve how the new service can be delivered. Nearer the time, we'll let you know exactly when the service will start, when you'll get your caddies and what can be recycled in them.

The results of this survey will be made available on this page and our social media channels within four weeks of the survey closing date. 

What you told us

We received 3,053 responses to the food waste survey. 82% of respondents think it is extremely or very important to recycle food waste. 73% of respondents state they will use the new food waste service when it starts.
Some of the barriers to participation in the existing fortnightly collection service include, not having the inside food waste caddy, and the bin being smelly and not collected frequently enough.
The majority of residents said they heard about waste changes via bin hangers and leaflets.

What we did

We have taken what we learnt from your responses and, where possible, will use the relevant feedback to improve how the new service can be delivered. You can find further analysis in the full report

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