The introduction of food waste collection in Reading is set to be delayed by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for environment at Reading Borough Council (RBC), told the Chronicle in April that the roll-out of the food waste service would be delayed.

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A proposed new schedule has now been revealed by Reading Borough Council (RBC).

How the plan has changed

The council had planned to introduce food waste collection in July 2020, with 3,000 ‘early adopter’ properties, followed by 59,000 properties in October.

A further 14,000 high rise flats would then have followed sometime in 2021, completing the roll-out.

Folllowing delays due to Covid-19, the new plan is to start the trial service on October 5, 2020, followed by the main roll-out in February 1 next year.

The final 14,000 flats would then follow sometime in 2022, under the new plan.

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RBC’s food waste plans also include swapping the 240l grey general waste bins for new 140l bins.

Under the proposed new schedule, the swaps would take place from February 1 and be completed by March 22.

RBC’s Policy committee will vote on whether to approve the plans next Monday (July 20).

The council expects food waste collection will increase recycling rates in Reading from 32per cent to 43.5per cent and save around £223,000 per year.

Why start with a three-month trial?

The council says the initial trial will giveit the opportunity to make changes and, if necessary, delay the main rollout until successful implementation is possible.

It will start with challenging areas including low rise flats, student accommodation, Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) and other operationally difficult areas.

The trial will also help the council to understand the impact of reducing the size of general waste bins from 240l to 140l, which has caused some concerns among residents.

Research by recycling charity the Waste & Resources Action Programme found reducing the size of general waste bins has helped to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill in other parts of the country.