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Early adopter households

Analysis of houses in Reading shows that over 40% of the household rubbish put into our grey bins 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 tonne of food instead of sending it to landfill it saves £100. 

As part of our programme of activity to increase Reading’s recycling rate to 50%, we will swap 240 litre grey bins for 140 litre bins. Analysis shows that around 18% of the waste put in grey non-recycling bins could have been put in the red recycling bins. Research across the country shows that higher recycling rates are achieved where the residual (grey bin) waste capacity is reduced, because it encourages people to maximise the items they sort for recycling.  

Approximately, 3000 households have been chosen as ‘early adopters‘ which are starting the scheme early, from 5 October 2020 .

If you are one of the early adopter households and have any problems or queries about the new service which aren’t covered by the questions below, please contact us.

Why has my household been chosen to be part of the early adopters?

The early adopters scheme will allow us to test how the scheme works and ensure that our communications are clear and effective. We will then make any necessary changes before rolling the new service out to the rest of the borough in early 2021 so we can ensure that as many residents as possible participate.

What will it mean for me?

We will be supplying food waste containers for the new weekly food waste service, and  replacing your current 240 or 360 litre grey wheeled bins with a new 140 litre black bin for non-recyclable household waste.

Food waste collections for ‘early adopter’ households will start from 5th October.

How will the food waste service work?

For houses, 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. Along with liners for the indoor caddy.

Your food waste collection will be weekly on the same day as your grey and red bins. Food waste collections for ‘early adopter’ households will start from 5th October.

Flats with communal bins will receive a small (5 litre) food waste kitchen caddy which you will empty into a larger outdoor communal food waste black bin with a blue lid. The communal food waste bin will be emptied weekly.

What happens to the food waste?

We will be collecting 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. The plant captures methane every year which is equivalent to removing 71,000 cars from the road. However, it is converted into electricity on site, which is fed to the National Grid. It generates enough renewable electricity to power over 4,800 homes. So the new service will turn food waste from a problem into a resource. 

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. Used cooking oil in a sealed plastic bottle can be placed inside your food waste bin. 

You won’t be able to put liquids, garden waste, pet waste or packaging in the food waste bin.

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. Make sure you tie up the caddy liners before you put them into your food waste bin.

To ensure vermin or pets can’t get into the outdoor food waste bin, lift the handle to the upright position to lock the bin.

Will my bin collection day change?

Whilst you are part of the early adopters scheme, your collection day will not change.  Your outdoor food waste bin will be collected weekly on the same day as your grey and red bins.

The changes to waste services which will be rolled out to the borough from 1 February 2021 , will mean it is likely that your current collection day will change. You will receive more details nearer the time, including information about your collection day and a bin calendar.

Why are you changing the size of the bins?

Swapping 240 litre bins for 140 litre bins will help us increase the recycling rate in Reading. 
Analysis of household waste bins in Reading shows that on average 18% of the waste in grey bins could have been put in the red recycling bins. Research across the country shows that higher recycling rates are achieved where the residual (‘grey bin’) waste capacity is reduced, because it encourages people to maximise the items they sort for recycling. That’s why we’re swapping 240 litre bins for 140 litre bins. 

What if I currently have a large or multiple grey bins?

If you have a large or multiple grey bin(s) and still need the extra capacity, please contact us so we can assess your needs for extra waste capacity. If approved, we will provide you with RBC branded white sacks which you can put out with your grey bin on collection day.

What do I do if I have lots of nappies and absorbent hygiene products?

If you have children in nappies please flush the contents down the toilet before putting it in your bin. You can find more information about reusable nappies.

If you, or a member of your household are producing hygiene waste, please contact us and we will assess your need for a larger bin, or in exceptional circumstances, a clinical waste collection.

What happens if I have any problems or queries?

Our recycling and enforcement team are here to help and guide you. If you have any problems or queries about the new service, please let us know by completing the early adopters contact form.

Will you take extra bags as well as what is in the 140 litre black bin?

No. Your rubbish needs to be contained within your bin and the lid fully closed. If you put out extra bag(s) of rubbish beside your bin, our crews will not be able to collect them. 

In order to achieve the main aim of increasing recycling, we need to put a limit on how much non-recycled waste can be put out.  

Can I have more recycling bins to help me manage my waste?

Yes, we are encouraging residents to recycle as much as they can. We will collect as many red bins from a property as presented, as long as they only contain items we can collect kerbside. Please visit our . You can order an additional recycling bin.

What will happen to the old bins under the proposals?

The old 240l grey bins will be taken away and either re-used or recycled into new bins.

Will there be any changes to the red recycling bin or green garden waste services?

There are no changes to the red recycling bin service – however we will provide you with better information about what you can and can’t recycle. You can also use the . 

There are no changes to the garden waste service.

Can I compost my own food?

Yes! If you are a keen home composter please carry on. You can compost vegetable and fruit matter 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 visit the Get Composting website.

All non-compostable food waste, such as meat, fish, small bones, cooked food and dairy products can go into your food waste bin.

What liners should I use?

We will provide you with liners when we deliver your food waste containers but if you run out, you can use anything from old shopping bags to bread, cereal, crisp or salad bags, a sheet of newspaper or buy bags on a roll such as pedal bin liners or compostable bags. Please don’t use black bins bags or other food packaging.

Why should I use liners in my food caddy?

It’s best to use bags or liners as it makes your food waste recycling easier and cleaner. Liners also makes it easier for the collection crew to empty your food bin. When the food waste is taken to the recycling plant, all liners (including compostable ones) are removed at the beginning of the recycling process and are used to generate electricity.

I don’t want to use plastic liners, what can I use to line my caddy?

If you don’t want to use plastic liners, you can use compostable liners, a sheet of newspaper or nothing at all. When the food waste is taken to the recycling plant, all the bags and liners (including compostable ones) are removed at the beginning of the recycling process and are used to generate electricity.

What happens to liners?

When the food waste is taken to the recycling plant, the bags and liners (including compostable ones) are removed at the beginning of the recycling process and are used to generate electricity.  

Early adopters

Albert Road (from Richmond Road to Highmoor Road)

Alexandra Road (from London Road to Erleigh Road)

Amethyst Lane

Anstey Road

Arbroath Road

Ashdene Gardens

Baker Street (from Howard Street to Russell Street)

Bexley Court

Blenheim Road, Caversham

Blenheim Road, Reading

Body Road

Buxton Avenue

Carey Street

Carnarvon Road

Carron Close

Charlotte Close

Chelford Way

De Beauvoir Road

Dellwood Park

Donnington Road

Eddleston Way

Eldart Close

Erleigh Road (from Alexandra Road to Farringdon Court)

Eskin Close

Farringdon Court

Gairn Close

Glenmore Place

Hawley Mews

Highmoor Road

Hollins Walk

Howard Street

Inglewood Court

Iona Avenue

Jenkins Close

Jesse Terrace

Junction Road

Kearsley Road

Kidmore Road (Richmond Road to The Mount)

Leven Street

Liebenrood Road

Maldon Close

Marshall Close

Matlock Road

Oakley Road

Orwell Close

Parkhouse Lane

Parkhurst Drive

Parkside Road

Penroath Avenue

Rannoch Street

Russell Street

Shireshead Close

Southcote Road

Spey Road

St Andrews Road

Stour Close

Tay Road

Test Close

Waylen Street

Westcote Road

Wingrove Road

Zinzan Street