New Waterproof Waste & Recycling Bags, Delivery Starting

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New waterproof recycling bags, green food waste bags and blue general waste bags will start being delivered in Wokingham Borough from 22 February. These will be dropped on doorsteps over a seven-week period, with all residents receiving them by mid-April.


The new waterproof recycling bags will eventually replace the existing black boxes and can be used as soon as residents receive them. Each household will initially get two bags. Additional recycling bags will be available once the deliveries are complete. Check our website for details on how to order more recycling bags.

Waterproof Waste & Recycling Bags
PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON www.stphotos.co.uk

Please use the recycling bags as soon as you get them. If you need more than two bags, please use your black boxes initially, but only for non-paper/card items such as cans, tins and plastics.

In late 2019, paper and card reprocessing plants stopped accepting wet materials. We are replacing the black boxes with sealable waterproof recycling bags to ensure the paper and card our residents put out for recycling stays dry and meets the new standards. The waterproof bags will help the council towards its target of 70 per cent recycling by 2030.

The waterproof recycling bags have a weight at the bottom to prevent them blowing away. They are made of long-lasting materials which should last for up to five years. They also weigh less than the black boxes, making handling easier. Collection crews will leave the bags in the location where they collect them.

The only change for residents is the container for recycling; collections will remain weekly on the same day as they are currently.

Waterproof Waste & Recycling Bags
PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON www.stphotos.co.uk

“We know our residents are keen to recycle as much as possible and the change to these waterproof bags will help us towards our recycling goals,” said Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment. “Recycling wet paper is more difficult than it used to be due to changes in the world market for recycled paper. We’ve made this change to address this problem, which also saves the council and therefore the Council Tax payer money. The new bags also offer more capacity to residents for each container to allow them to recycle more per household.”


More than five million blue bags will also be rolling out across Wokingham borough this spring. These are for general waste, with each household receiving 80 bags in two rolls of 40 to cover the period between April 2021 and March 2022. These are being sent to residents a couple of weeks later than usual to allow us to deliver them with the waterproof bags.

If residents need more blue bags before they are due to be delivered, they can be ordered  on our website. Additional blue bags can be delivered within 10 working days or collected from one of the locations listed on the website. Later this month, the council’s website will contain information on the date of deliveries for the blue, food waste and recycling bags.

The size and quality of the two handled blue rubbish bags remains the same. Crews can only collect waste in these council branded bags. Blue bags were first introduced back in 2012 and can take 90-litres of waste. With 80 bags per household this works out at approximately 120 litres per week. This is the equivalent of a fortnightly 240 litre wheeled bin collection but with the extra flexibility of weekly collections and the ability to put out more waste in some weeks and less in others.


All households will also receive an allocation of about 100 food waste bags. Food waste put into the blue general rubbish bags often ends up in landfill, where it rots and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. When recycled, food waste can generate energy to power our homes.

Half a caddy of recycled food waste would power a toaster for four slices of bread; six recycled tea bags would produce enough electricity to boil a kettle for a cup of tea. Food waste also breaks down into a liquid fertiliser, rich in nitrogen, used in fields to improve the soil and help grow crops.

“Residents can look forward to receiving rubbish and recycling bags in one go this year, with deliveries of food waste bags, the new waterproof recycling bags and your annual allocation of blue bags starting later this month,” added Cllr Batth.


You can sign up to our weekly rubbish and recycling newsletter for updates on the rollout.