Published on

1 July 2024

Still time to prepare as bin rollout hits halfway mark

Residents are encouraged to start recycling all they can now, in readiness for household waste collection changes starting next month

Two smiling women from the council hand a green recycling bag to a shopper from a stall outside Asda in Lower Earley

More than 35,000 black wheeled rubbish bins have now been delivered to homes across Wokingham Borough.

The rollout, which is over halfway through and set to finish by the end of July, is part of the council’s upcoming waste collection changes. These will take effect from Monday, 12 August onwards, and residents are urged to ensure they’re ready before then.

Residents should ensure they have enough free green recycling bags, as recycling will be collected every two weeks as part of the new service.

Food waste collections will remain weekly and can also help to leave more space in the new rubbish bins. Rubbish will be emptied fortnightly, on weeks when recycling isn’t collected.

Free green recycling bags, food waste bins and indoor food caddies can be collected from hubs around the borough or from the council’s new recycling engagement team.

Get green bags and food bins

A smiling woman in a council fleece hands a green recycling bag to an older man outside Asda in Lower Earley

Pleased to meet you

The recycling team have been working hard since they hit the streets in February, visiting homes door to door to help people recycle as much as possible.

They've also visited 18 local schools, giving assemblies to almost 5,000 pupils, and supermarkets, libraries, churches, older peoples' housing, community centres and more.

The team met the borough’s growing Hong Kong community at Wokingham town's Lunar New Year celebrations and organised children's activities for this summer’s Great Big Green Week.

As well as giving out free green recycling bags and food bins, they’ve been giving out leaflets to help everyone recycle more of their waste correctly.

A newly delivered wheeled bin standing on someone's paved driveway

On track for a smooth changeover

Steve Brown, the council’s assistant director for environment and safety, said: “It’s been a busy few months but the team have enjoyed meeting so many different people and helping them get ready.

“We know change can seem daunting, but we’ve been able to show that recycling soon becomes second nature and we’re here to help. When everyone makes those small changes, it all adds up to a big impact.

“We’re also really pleased with how the wheeled bin deliveries have gone. Our delivery contractor Jett and supplier IPL are working tirelessly to get up to 1,000 bins on doorsteps every day and we’re thankful for all their help.

“It’s taken a lot of work to reach this point, but we’re almost ready for the service change – and we promise our residents that we’ll keep sharing updates as soon as they’re available.”

A man in a high vis jacket stacks a column of black bins next to loads of other columns of stacked black bins

Changes just around the corner

Residents shouldn’t put rubbish out in their wheeled bin yet, as it won’t be collected, but should keep using their remaining blue rubbish bags for now.

The council will only empty one 180-litre rubbish bin from 12 August, with the bin lid shut and no additional waste, but there’ll be no limit on how much recycling can be put out.

However, residents should wash and squash their recycling where they can, to make best use of space in their green bags. Anyone not already using a food bin is encouraged to do so, as this would significantly improve the borough’s recycling rate.

The borough recycles about 55 per cent of all it throws away, which puts it in the top areas nationally, but this would be 70 per cent if every resident recycled all they could – which would make Wokingham the UK’s number one recycler.

Two women and a man from the council's recycling team smile and hold various waste containers at their stall outside Asda in Lower Earley

More news coming soon

Everyone will keep their usual waste collection day after the change, but some homes will start with a rubbish collection in the week of 12 August while others will start with a recycling collection.

More details will be posted to every household soon, along with a weekly collection calendar, and residents will be able to look up their collection weeks on the council’s website.

The council’s optional garden waste service is not affected by these changes.

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