More food waste bags for Wokingham in a bid to help the environment
Wokingham RESIDENTS are urged to line up their food caddies with an eco-friendly alternative.
This is part of Wokingham Borough Council’s efforts to reduce the use of non-recyclable single-use plastics.
For the past two years, the council has provided each household with a supply of non-biodegradable caddy liners to line their food waste bins in an effort to increase food waste recycling.
The new Liberal Democrat council administration, in power since May 2022, has decided not to continue providing the bags and instead is encouraging residents to use eco-friendly alternatives.
Cllr Ian Shenton, Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Leisure, said: “The production and disposal of non-recyclable single-use plastics results in greenhouse gas emissions and often ends up polluting our rivers. and our seas.
“At a time when we are encouraging all residents to reduce their use of single-use plastic, it just doesn’t make sense for us to continue providing single-use plastic food waste bags.”
Food waste collected from residents of the Borough of Wokingham is taken to a recycling facility managed by re3, our waste management partner.
The food basket liners are burned and the energy captured after the food waste inside is removed for further processing in the facility.
Cllr Shenton came up with a range of better-for-the-planet alternatives.
He said: ‘Residents can line their kitchen caddies with a compostable liner, newspaper or any soft plastic bags they have that they were going to throw away, such as carrier bags, bread bags, lunch bags. cereal or bags of fruits and vegetables.
“Residents can also line the bottom with newspaper or used kitchen paper, empty it into the outdoor basket, and wash both between uses.”
Due to the encouragement of more environmentally friendly alternatives, the council will no longer provide additional food basket liners, beyond its annual supply delivered to all households earlier this year.
Previously, residents could obtain additional food basket liners from a number of places, such as libraries, in the borough. The board is out of it and won’t be ordering any more.
For the same environmental concerns, the council has also decided not to include food bags in its annual delivery of blue bin bags to residents from 2023.
The council estimate caddy liners to cost around £75,000 this year but have not been included in the budget.
The estimated cost of caddy liners for next year is just under £120,000, mainly due to rising oil prices.
Cllr Clive Jones, head of the council, believes it “doesn’t make sense” to commit to this cost.
He said: “The previous administration had no budget for these caddy liners, so to provide them we had to take the money from something else.
“In these perilous times of rising costs across the board, it just doesn’t make sense for us to keep supplying them, especially since they’re bad for the environment.”
The council is working on a new waste collection strategy for the end of the current waste collection contract in 2026
He will ask residents for their thoughts on the options later this year.