Reading is getting food waste bins.

A new weekly food waste collection will come to the town, with an anticipated date of autumn 2020, Reading Borough Council (RBC) announced today.

Every home in Reading will get a 23-litre food waste caddy.

Just 32 per cent of household waste is recycled in Reading but the council wants to increase this to 50 per cent.

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Councillor Sophia James, lead member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said it is an ambitious target but she is confident it can be achieved if everyone works together.

She added: “Reading residents do a great job recycling already and I am positive the launch of our campaign and changes to waste collection will help us reach our 50 per cent target.”

Watch: Councillor Page explains why Reading is getting new bins

Current 240-litre black bins will be replaced with 140-litre ones.

Research by recycling charity the Waste & Resources Action Programme shows this has helped to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill in other parts of the country.

The new scheme was announced at a press briefing at the RE3 recycling centre in south Reading today/on Wednesday (September 18).

All waste in Reading Borough Council, Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) and Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) areas is sent to the centre.

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Food waste is turned into biogas and fertiliser through  anerobic digestion.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Strategic Environment, said: “Introducing food waste collection in Reading is probably one of the most difficult challenges we have had and will have.

“We have recycling rates that are too low. We declared a climate emergency and part of that is to get people recycling more.

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“People often get confused and want to recycle more but aren’t sure how to recycle.

“A number of authorities have had food waste collection for a while. Wokingham has just started.

“Most authorities have easier operating terrains than us.”

The council will launch food waste collection trials next year in “hard to reach areas” and “areas where communication will be a challenge”.

RBC will also employ a new team dedicated to food waste.

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Reading generates around 59,000 tonnes of household waste every single year.

Last year, Reading recycled just 32 per cent of its rubbish. Food waste collection is expected to increase recyling rates to 43.5 per cent and save £107,000 per year.

In the first quarter of 2019/2020, Reading has recycled 37 per cent of its waste compared to 45 per cent in Bracknell and 54 per cent in Wokingham.

WBC started collecting food waste in April.

South Oxfordshire District Council, which also collects food waste, has one of the best recycling rates in the country.

All EU countries have committed to a target of recycling at least 50 per cent of household waste by 2020.

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