In 2019 before food waste collections started, up to 41% of the household rubbish put into our grey bins in Reading was food waste. This would often end 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.
In 2019, up to 41% of the household rubbish put into our grey bins in Reading was food waste.
The benefits include:
You will have two food waste containers, a small indoor kitchen caddy (5 litre) to put in your kitchen and a larger food waste bin (23 litre) for you to put outside for collection.
The food waste is collected weekly on the same day as your household waste and recycling bins. Place your outside food waste bin at the edge of your property with your household waste or recycling bin by 6am. Your food waste will be collected by a different vehicle and at a different time of the day.
Flats with communal bins will have a small (5 litre) food waste kitchen caddy which you should empty into a larger outdoor communal food waste bin which is black with a blue lid. The communal food waste bin will be emptied weekly.
The service started for approximately 3,000 ‘early adopter’ households from 5 October 2020 before being rolled out to the rest of the borough from 1 February 2021.
If you don’t yet have a food waste collection, it will likely be starting soon. You’ll receive all the information and equipment you need to take part at the time.
Your food waste will be collected on the same day as your recycling and household waste. Check your collection day here.
You can put all forms of cooked and uncooked food in your food waste bin including fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, rice, pasta, bread, dairy, eggs and egg shells, plate and bowl scrapings and tea and coffee bags and grounds. Used cooking oil in a sealed plastic bottle can be placed inside your food waste bin.
Please do not put liquids, garden waste, cut flowers or packaging (including biodegradable packaging) in the food waste bin.
There is no need for your kitchen caddy or food waste bin to become smelly or to attract insects or vermin. Your outdoor food waste bin has a sealable and lockable lid which will reduce smell as well as prevent pests. 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.
We will collect the food waste from 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.
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.
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 liners. Please don’t use black bins bags or other food trays and packaging.
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.
The liners will be in a box by the entrance to the sites. We ask that you take one roll per household.
You can also line your indoor food waste caddy with biodegradable bags, plastic bags such as bread bags. You can also use caddy or pedal bin liners purchased from shops and supermarkets. Please do not use black bin bags.
Yes! You should only compost garden waste and uncooked waste vegetables and fruit (e.g. peelings and skins) as well as coffee grounds and tea bags. All non-compostable food waste, such as meat, fish, small bones, cooked food and dairy products can go into your food waste bin.
For information and advice about how to compost at home visit the Get Composting website.
Additional or replacement food bins will be provided by the council to encourage households to participate in or increase their recycling. Order an additional or replacement food waste bin here.
Before ordering a food waste bin or kitchen caddy, check that your property receives weekly food collections. You can only order a food waste bin or caddy if there is a food waste collection for your property.
If you have any problems or queries about the new service which aren’t covered by the questions above, please contact us.