Published on

27 February 2024

Grab your green bags to prepare for waste changes

Twelve new hubs have opened to help residents collect green recycling bags before household waste collections change this summer

Photograph of two full green recycling bags and a black food waste bin at the kerbside in front of a house

Green recycling bags can now be picked up from 12 additional hubs across Wokingham Borough, bringing the total up to 17, as the council prepares to change its household waste collections.

From late May onwards, most households will be given a 180-litre black wheeled rubbish bin. This will be emptied every two weeks from mid-August, replacing the current weekly blue bag collections.

Recycling will also be collected every two weeks, on weeks when rubbish isn’t collected, so residents should make sure they have enough reusable, sealable 60-litre green bags.

Collect bags now

There'll be no limit on how much recycling can be put out, but most households should find up to four bags will do. This adds up to 240 litres, the same size as a larger wheeled bin.

Food waste collections are staying weekly, so anyone not using a free food bin and indoor caddy is encouraged to pick one up as well. Green bags and food bins are available at:

  • Wokingham Borough Council offices - Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN
  • Woodley Library - Headley Road, Woodley, RG5 4JA
  • Lower Earley Library - Chalfont Close, Lower Earley, RG6 5HZ
  • Wokingham Library - Carnival Hub, Wellington Road, RG40 2AF
  • Earley Town Council - Help Shop, Radstock Lane, Earley, RG6 5UL
  • Wokingham Without Parish Office - The Pinewood Centre, Old Wokingham Road, RG40 3AQ
  • Wargrave Parish Council offices - Recreation Road, RG10 8BG
  • Swallowfield Parish Office - Swallowfield Street, RG7 1QX
  • One Stop - 36 Park View Drive South, Charvil, RG10 9QX
  • Woodley Town Council offices - The Oakwood Centre, Headley Road, RG5 4JZ

The following locations are stocking only green bags, and not food bins:

  • Shinfield Parish Council offices - School Green Centre, RG2 9EH
  • Loddon Valley Leisure Centre - Rushey Way, Lower Earley, Earley, Reading RG6 4GD
  • St Crispins Leisure Centre - London Rd, Wokingham RG40 1SR
  • Ryeish Green Leisure Centre - Hyde End Ln, Ryeish Green, Reading RG7 1EP
  • Arborfield Green Leisure Centre - Sheerlands Rd, Arborfield, Reading RG2 9GB
  • Bulmershe Leisure Centre - Woodlands Ave, Woodley, Reading RG5 3EU
  • Wokingham Leisure Centre - Wellington Rd, Wokingham RG40 2AF

Opening times vary for each site, so please check the latest information about green bags and food bins on our website.

Getting ready for a greener future

The changes are needed to increase the borough's recycling rate, which stands at an impressive 57 per cent but must increase further in years to come. They will also make essential savings of more than £1 million per year, helping the council as it faces severe financial challenges.

Cllr Ian Shenton, executive member for environment, sport and leisure, said: "We know people have busy lives and want to make our waste collection changes as easy as possible for everyone.

"As well as giving lots of information ahead of time, we're pleased to be making our green bags and food bins more readily available for people to collect before the changes are due to start – especially in the more rural parts of the borough.

“Please make the most of this opportunity to get ready, and look again at what you’re throwing away to see if you could be recycling more – as well as producing less waste in the first place.

“We know some people are already recycling as much as they can, so we’re very thankful for this and encourage others to follow their example. By making a few simple changes to your daily habits, it’s a lot easier than you might think.”

What goes where: a reminder

The green bags should be used for paper (in an envelope if shredded) and cardboard (folded or cut up to fit if needed - this includes drinks or soup cartons like Tetra Pak); plastic bottles with lids plus pots, tubs and trays (except for black plastic); clean foil (loose or trays) and tins, cans and aerosols.

To make best use of space in the green bags, residents should wash and squash their recycling where this is possible. They should also seal their green bags fully to prevent rain from getting in, as items like paper and cardboard cannot be recycled if they're wet.

Glass can’t be recycled at the kerbside, so residents should use Recycle Now's free Recycling Locator tool. This will also show where they can recycle items like soft plastics (films, bags, bubble wrap and so on) or textiles.

Meanwhile, food bins can be used for any uneaten food – cooked or raw, fresh or out of date – as long as no packaging or loose liquids go in. Cold cooking oil can also be poured back into a sealed bottle, and the bottle can be put in the bin for collection.

More information and advice is available on our website or by signing up to our fortnightly Rubbish & Recycling newsletter.

Looking even further ahead

The council knows some residents would like a wheeled recycling bin too. This wasn’t possible when these changes were planned, as the Government had said that all councils would have to collect different types of recycling from different containers in future.

Now that the Government’s position appears to be changing, and a single bin for mixed recycling could be viable again, this will be considered – along with all other options for recycling – when the council renews its waste collection contract in 2026.

A small number of households are staying on the existing collection system, and more information is available on our dedicated web pages.

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