veolia west berkshire Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently asked questions about the food and green waste collection service: find your answers here!


How often will my bins be collected?

We collect your rubbish one week and your recycling on the other week. Food waste in your green wheelie bin will be recycled. If you put all your food waste in your green wheelie bin, all your food waste will be recycled instead of being sent to landfill or energy recovery.

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What should I do if I don’t have a green wheelie bin?

You need a green wheelie bin to put your food and /or garden waste out for collection. If you don’t have a green wheelie bin already and have the space to store one, please contact customer services on 01635 519080, email customerservices@westberks.gov.uk

We provide a kitchen and kerbside caddy (as an alternative to a green wheelie bin) for residents on a sack collection. The kerbside caddy needs to be put out by 7am on your collection day and will be emptied fortnightly. Compostable bags MUST be used with a kerbside caddy.

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What do I do with packaged food items, such as fruit punnets or lettuce in a bag?

We cannot accept any type of food packaging with your food waste. Please remove and empty any food waste from the packaging into your caddy and then dispose of the packaging in your correct recycling container or black wheelie bin.

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Can I use normal plastic bags or other biodegradable liners in my caddy?

Sorry no. We will be composting your food and green waste and plastic bags do not decompose. It is essential that you only use 100% compostable liners which have the logo shown here. Liners without this logo cannot be processed into compost and we will not be able to empty your green bin if the wrong type of bags have been used. To purchase compostable liners at a discounted rate visit www.biobag-uk.com/westberkshire.

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What happens to my food & green waste after collection?

Once your food and garden waste is collected for recycling, it’s taken to a composting facility. This is a way of composting all types of food and garden waste in an enclosed unit. The mixture will be shredded and put into special tunnels where air circulation, temperature and moisture can be controlled to break down the food and garden waste into soil conditioner. It is then used as a rich soil improver called ‘Pro-Grow’ and can be bought at Household Waste Recycling Centres in West Berkshire or via this page.

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Why did you introduce a food waste collection?

The kerbside recycling service has proved hugely popular, boosting the amount we recycled to more than 40% by 2011. By introducing a food waste collection we have increased our recycling rate to 47% and by recycling more of our food waste we can increase that even further. The results from our last survey show more than 60% of residents were keen to have separate food waste collections. The food waste we collect is sent to a our composting facility at Padworth so we can manage our food and green waste locally, rather than sending it to other parts of the UK to be composted.

Food waste in landfill is also harmful as when it rots down, it produces methane gas which contributes to climate change. The cost of sending your rubbish to landfill is increasing too, so by collecting your food waste it will help the Council and our residents save money.

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I already compost at home, should I still use my composter?

Yes, if you already compost at home, please keep composting all your fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags and garden waste. However not all food waste can go into your home compost bin, such as meat and cooked food, these can go in your food waste collection instead.

If you would like a reduced priced compost bin please visit
www.getcomposting.com,
telephone 0844 571 4444 or email
customer.care@getcomposting.com

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What if I have an assisted collection?

If you already have an assisted collection for your green wheelie bin, your service will continue as usual. If you have any difficulties with taking any of your rubbish or recycling containers to your collection point and you wish to apply for an assisted collection, please contact Customer Services on 01635 519080 or email customerservices@westberks.gov.uk or visit www.westberks.gov.uk/waste

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I live in a flat with a communal bin store, will I get a food waste collection?

Your collection service will not change at the moment. We hope to introduce a food waste service for bin stores in the future and will keep you updated.

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What can I put in my food waste collection?

Please see our guide to what can and can't be recycled through the food and garden waste collection scheme on these pages: food waste and green waste.

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Why can I not put red meat bones in my food waste collection?

Red meat bones, such as from beef, lamb or pork joints, will not decompose in our composting facility. Please put these types of bones in your black bin. Poultry and fish bones are accepted in the food waste service because they are naturally porous and decompose easily in the composting process.

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Why can I not put large dog biscuits in my food waste collection?

Large dog biscuits (over 25mm / 1inch diameter) will not decompose in our composting facility. Please put these items in your black bin or donate them to animal charities if they are still useable.

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Can I put cooking oil in my food waste collection?

No, cooking oil or fats cannot be put in with your food waste. We accept cooking oil for recycling at our Household Waste Recycling Centres at Newtown Road, Newbury and Padworth. Please note your oil containers are non-returnable.

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Can I put nappies in my food & green waste collection?

No, disposable nappies cannot be put in with your food or green waste. They are not compostable, even if they state they are biodegradable. Please put nappies in your black wheelie bin. If you would like information on how to reduce your nappy waste or would like to sign up for a trial to use real nappies, please contact Customer Services on 01635 519080 or email customerservices@westberks.gov.uk or visit www.westberks.gov.uk/nappies

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Can I put paper or cardboard in my food & green waste collection?

No, please put paper and card in your green recycling box. The food and garden waste we collect goes to a composting facility, which is unable to accept card or paper. We also cannot accept shredded paper in the food and green waste service but you can compost this at home or put it in your black wheelie bin.

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What happens if I put waste in my green wheelie bin that can’t be composted?

The bin crew will look in the top of each green wheelie bin to make sure the waste is compostable. If the green wheelie bin contains other types of waste, such as nappies or food packaging, they will not be able to empty your bin. Unfortunately the bin crew are unable to remove contamination during the collection rounds, but they will hang a notice on your bin advising why they could not empty it.

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Do I have to use the compostable liner in my caddy?

We will deliver a roll of compostable liners at the start of the service. It is important to use a compostable liner in your caddy as it will help to keep your food waste contained and make transferring the waste to your green wheelie bin simple. To purchase compostable liners at a discounted rate visit www.biobag-uk.com/westberkshire.

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What is the best way to store my compostable liners?

Store your liners in a cool and dry place. Your liners are designed to compost in warm and moist conditions – so if stored in a warm and moist place they are likely to start breaking down before you use them. To purchase compostable liners at a discounted rate visit www.biobag-uk.com/westberkshire.

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Can I wash my food caddy and green bin with cleaning products?

We recommend washing out both containers regularly and if detergents are used please give the containers a final rinse out with water to remove residues and allow to dry before putting anything in them. Alternatively there are some local companies that offer a bin washing service, these can be found via the Yellow Pages.

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Can I have another green bin for garden waste collections?

Please ask about our chargeable extra green waste service if you have a lot of garden waste for recycling: contact West Berkshire Council's customer services by email customerservices@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519080.

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What happens if I put my food waste in my black bin?

If you put your food waste in your black bin it will not be recycled and will be sent either to landfill or to an energy recovery facility. We want to avoid sending our rubbish to landfill as this disposal choice is not an environmentally friendly way of dealing with our rubbish and has high associated costs.

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I do not want the caddy or to use the food & green waste collection service. What should I do?

By using this service the only difference you will notice is the different bin you empty your food waste into. Whereas usually you would put all your food waste in your kitchen bin and empty it 2 /3 times a week, we are asking for you instead to put your food waste into a caddy with a liner to be collected for recycling.

Your food waste in your black bin will continue to be collected fortnightly and your rubbish will be sent to landfill or for energy recovery.

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Will my other recycling services change?

No, your recycling services will remain the same – 2 green boxes for glass, card and paper and a green bag for plastic bottles and cans. Textiles can be put out for collection in a labelled carrier bag.

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Is this a reduction in service and will I get a Council Tax refund?

This is not a reduction in service as you are still receiving a weekly collection. More resources are being put into recycling and therefore less into waste. If we continue with the current service costs would significantly rise and would impact on council tax.

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Here is our handy guide to what can and can't go in your food waste collection service.
Find stockists where you can purchase compostable caddy liners for your kitchen caddy.
Here is our handy guide to what can and can't go in your green waste collection service.
A short explanatory video about the food waste collection service which launched in 2011.