Wokingham Rubbish Collections

Wokingham Borough Council has lost the plot.

I suppose you would agree with me, that Recycling is the most important part of our Rubbish; we all know we must recycle more.

Wokingham are approaching this from the wrong direction. Wokingham believe that the way of increasing our recycling rate is to reduce the amount of rubbish we send to landfill. This is nothing new; most councils restrict the amount of waste which we throw away,the favourite way doing this is to supply a 240 Litre wheelie bin, and empty it once a fortnight; so thats 120 Litres a week. Wokingham are going to supply every household with 80 sacks so about 1.5 sacks a week which = 120 Litres of waste.

So how much waste which the council collects do we actually recycle, Some councillors believe we recycle 44%; following a Freedom of Information Request the figures of waste collected from households is far worse; in 2011 72% of our waste went to Landfill; so 28% was recycling? No, we recycled 14% and the other 14% was Green Waste. The danger for the council is that recycling rate will reduce as green waste is now going to be chargeable. Other dangers are: People are more likely to put more items into the recycling which should not be put into recycling, (i.e. contamination rate will increase), Fly-tipping, which increased in 2010, and could increase further in 2012 as people dump waste illegally.

The correct method to increase recycling is to increase what we can recycle. Recycling rates work on the weight of the waste collected/recycled. The fastest way to increase recycling rate is to recycle food waste. Food is heavy, recycling food via Anaerobic Digestion, coverts the food to Bio Gas, which produces electricity, the residual produce is supplied to farmers as a fertiliser.

So how did the council lose the plot, the Environmental Protections Act 1990 Section 46: allows the authority (council) specify the type of container (receptacle) that they will collect waste in. It doesn’t give them the right to specify the supplier of these containers – This would be a monopoly which is illegal. In addition the council has a duty to collect your Domestic waste (this is a service which is provided under your council tax, therefore the council can not charge you any additional charge for this service unless the type of waste is specifically detailed under schedule 2 of the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992.)

Additional Sacks, The council will sell you additional sacks, the only charge is for the additional costs related to the supply of the sacks and not a charge for the waste which is collected in these sacks.

The latest new from the council is that the rollout of this service is to be soft, Gary Cowan councillor in charge of Environment, mentioned that the council will allow black sacks to be collected in the first few weeks, and will send operatives to visit household who do not understand that they have to use the blue sacks. Also a number of blue sacks have been stolen from doorsteps, since the council do not have recorded delivery then perhaps a large amount of households will need replacement sacks, since sacks seem to go missing.

The basic rule should you wish to take the legal route would be to reject the councils sacks and supply your own, hence removing the quantity restriction. I am not certain how specific the councils specification can be, I suppose that is for a judge to decide. What is certain once you accept the councils sacks you have agreed to their terms.

4 thoughts on “Wokingham Rubbish Collections

  1. I will put my hot coal ash from 2 stoves into my metal bin as I have done for the last 25 years.I’m not puting it in a plastic bag.

    • Hot ash is a problem, however at present I can not find a simple solution, all I can think is to put the ash in a location were it can cool down, before putting it into sacks

  2. First, collection under the new system, I put out 1 non council sack, it was collected. I have decided to remove my recycling from the council, I will take this to a disposal point which we recycles more items. I have heard that Wokingham dustcarts were in Ryeish Green at 06:20 which means they are collecting outside the 06:30 official start time! The recycling vehicle which visited my road, had a loader (person who picks up the waste and puts it into the vehicle) dressed in a suit? Also it seems the recycling team is using wheelie bins to collect waste and then lift the waste into the truck; this might sound strange, but the bin lift equipped vehicle have a high load point which makes manual loading of the hopper difficult.

    I have sent a FOIR to Winsor & Maindenhead to find out more information on their recycling scheme.

  3. It took the council to the middle of July to refuse to collect my white sacks. At last I was able to discuss my point with the council. It seems that because they are providing the first 80 sacks per year on a free of charge basis they can enforce the collection system. Unfortunately, due to circumstances I am unable to continue to challenge the council further. Although I did say to the council should this system be changed, I reserve the right to refuse they sacks.

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