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New food waste collection service to be introduced in Reading next year

Photo credited to Matt Hutchinson

Residents in Reading have received a boost - the Borough Council has announced it's set to start a weekly food waste collection service across the town in Autumn next year.

This comes as it attempts to make half of Reading's rubbish recyclable - that figure currently lies at 32%.

Reading Borough Council's long-term ambition is to make the town carbon neutral by 2030, having declared an 'environmental emergency' earlier this year.

Households will receive a separate bin to dispose of their food scraps - collected in addition to the existing recycling and landfill waste schemes.

The Borough Council's teamed-up with waste management service 'R.E.3 Recycling' to make this happen.

Project Manager Oliver Burt told The Breeze:

"We think people in Reading are ready to do this.

"If we collect about a kilogram of food waste per household on average across Reading, we should be able to generate enough electricity for the equivalent of 280 homes. So this is quite a big step.

"When people begin to collect food waste separately, they are in some cases surprised by the amount of food waste they've generated."

Even after the start-up costs - such as employing new staff and marketing information - the Council anticipates it will save £107,000 in the scheme's first year.

Photo credited to Matt Hutchinson

Work will also be carried out with Reading University to ensure students can participate fully in the recycling.

In year one, the scheme's environmental impact should be the equivalent to taking 9,000 cars off the road.

In addition, 41% of rubbish in Reading's houses - that is currently food waste - could then be recycled.

Councillor Tony Page - the Deputy Leader of Reading Council and lead Councillor for the Environment, Planning and Transport - says the town's residents must take responsibility for their food waste:

"Nobody has a right to exempt themselves from the need to recycle more and to protect and save the environment. We will therefore be looking to ensure that when we introduce food waste collection, we get it right from day one.

"You can save money by recycling because it will reduce the Council Tax. Every tonne that goes from the black bin and landfill to recycling saves you - and us - £100.

"Food waste can generate compressed natural gas. For example Reading - one of the best bus fleets in the country - it's quite possible that some of the food waste will come back to power the buses in a clean environmental way."

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