Reading Borough Council is expecting residents to recycle more than ever before this Christmas, thanks to changes introduced to make it easier for people to do their bit to help the environment.
This will be the first Christmas that residents in the borough can recycle their food waste, after the service was introduced in February this year. With extra food waste expected over Christmas, especially as turkey bones and carcasses can be bagged and put in your food waste bin, the Council will collect one extra caddy liner of food waste over the Christmas collections. Residents are asked to only put the bags out on the collection day to avoid issues with animals overnight.
Another change this Christmas is the introduction of mixed colour bottle banks. Thanks to advances in colour sorting technology, Reading’s bottle banks are now taking all colours of glass bottles and jars, so residents can fill any banks in which there is space regardless of whether your bottles are brown, green or clear. Extra collections have been arranged for busy bottle bank sites over the Christmas period, so if all banks are full residents are urged not to leave bottles piled up by the banks but to take them home and wait for the banks to be emptied.
Over 30% more waste is usually generated over the festive period than normal, with the main other areas of additional festive waste being Christmas trees, wrapping paper and cardboard packaging. Aside from certain wrapping paper, all of this can be recycled. Here’s how:
The Council will be once again be operating Christmas tree collection centres across the borough between 4 January and 23 January. Residents can take their trees along to one of our Christmas tree collection points at the following locations between those dates and the Council will dispose of it for free!
Other ways to dispose of your Christmas tree is to chop it up and put it in your green bin for when the garden waste collection scheme restarts in January, or alternatively book a slot at the re3 recycling centre and take it there.
The Recycling Centre, in Island Road, Reading, will be open between 8am and 4pm over the festive period except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day when it will be closed.
Whether wrapping paper can be recycled or not can confuse even a committed recycler, and the best way to work it out is via the ‘scrunch test’. If the wrapping paper stays scrunched up then it is paper-based and can go in your red recycling bin. However if it unfolds or springs back, it probably contains metallised plastic film and cannot be recycled and will need to go in your general waste bin. Christmas cards and cardboard packaging that comes with many presents can also be recycled in your red bin.
On the first collection after Christmas, households can leave out one extra bag of waste next to their grey bin. Additional recycling can be left in a cardboard box next to the red bin year round, but residents are asked to please try to keep any extra recycling they put out dry and not leave it out when it rains, as wet paper and cardboard cannot be processed.
As usual, bin collection days will change over the holiday period and it is possible to check revised dates at: www.reading.gov.uk/bindates. Garden waste collections are currently suspended.
Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:
“I know that many Reading residents share our focus on tackling the climate emergency so I am delighted that this Christmas we are offering even more opportunities for everyone to do their bit by recycling. We have our popular and well-used weekly food waste collections for festive scraps, and the switch to mixed glass bottle banks makes glass recycling more convenient and efficient. Thanks to the enthusiastic take-up of our new recycling offer, this year Reading’s recycling rate has risen from 35% to over 50%. I want to thank and congratulate all residents for their contribution to this fantastic improvement: part of our drive to deliver a safer, cleaner and greener Reading. Please help us continue this upward curve into 2022 by reducing, reusing and recycling at Christmas.”