Food waste collection

Between 30% and 40% of the household rubbish put into our grey bins in Reading is food waste. This often ends up in landfill where it rots and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. When recycled, food waste can be turned into fertiliser for farming and energy. It's also cheaper - every time we compost a lorry load of food instead of sending it to landfill it saves £100.

We're introducing weekly kerbside food waste collections from October 2020. Over the coming year we'll provide you with all the information and equipment you need to take part.
 

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Why are you starting to collect food waste?

Between 30% and 40% of the household rubbish put into our grey bins in Reading is food waste.

We're starting weekly household food waste collections. The service could start as early as October 2020.

The benefits include:

  • Composted food waste can be turned into electricity fertiliser for farming.
  • Composting food instead of burying it in landfill reduces the amount of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) released into the atmosphere.
  • It's cheaper - every time we compost a lorry load of food instead of sending it to landfill it saves £100.
  • Separating food waste means you have more room in your black bin to put things you cannot recycle.

How will the food waste service work?

You will have two food waste containers, a small indoor kitchen caddy (5 litre) to put in your kitchen and a larger outdoor caddy (23 litre) for you to put outside for collection. These will be delivered to everyone's home.

The food waste will be collected weekly.

You'll receive more details nearer the time, including all the information and equipment you need to take part.

When are the food waste collections starting?

The changes to waste services could start as early as October 2020. You'll receive more details nearer the time, including all the information and equipment you need to take part.

When will I get my food waste bin?

The changes to waste services could start as early as October 2020. You'll receive more details nearer the time, including all the information and equipment you need to take part. This will include a food waste bin and a caddy for your kitchen.

Will my bin collection day change?

The changes to waste services could start as early as October 2020. You'll receive more details nearer the time, including all the information and equipment you need to take part. This will include information about your collection day and a bin calendar.

What can I put in my food waste bin?

You'll be able to put all forms of cooked and uncooked food in your food waste bin including fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, rice, pasta, bread, dairy and tea and coffee grounds.

You won't be able to put liquids, garden waste or packaging in the food waste bin. You'll receive more details nearer the time, including all the information and equipment you need to take part.

Will my food waste bin smell, or attract insects and vermin?

There is no need for your kitchen caddy or food waste bin to become smelly or to attract insects or vermin. There are some simple steps you can take - such as regularly emptying your caddy, rinsing it out, keeping the lid closed, wrapping up smelly food like meat or fish, and keeping it out of direct sunlight.

You'll receive more details nearer the time, including hints and tips for keeping your food waste caddy and bin clean, fresh and easy to use.

What happens to the food waste?

We will collect the food waste form your food waste bin on a weekly basis. The waste will be taken to the re3 recycling centre and then on to the Severn Trent recycling plant where it is turned into fertiliser for farming and energy. So the new service will turn food waste from a problem into a resource.

Can I compost my own food?

Yes! You can compost food and garden waste at home. You don't have to buy a specially built compost bin, however special offers on compost bins for Reading residents are available.

For information and advice about how to compost at home visit the Get Composting website

What do I need to do?

Right now you continue to use your current services and bins. The new services start from autumn 2020 and you will receive all the information and equipment you need to take part nearer the time. If you want to start now you can join in the campaign and help us recycle more! Check what can and can't be recycled.

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