Recycling scheme changes welcomed by familiesBy Laura Herbert
November 28, 2012
Changes to the borough’s controversial waste and recycling scheme will see disgruntled families getting their wish for bigger blue bin bags.
The scheme was dogged with teething problems when it launched in April, prompting thousands of complaints about the strength and size of the bags.
But almost nine months later and after consultation with households Wokingham Borough Council has announced a raft of improvements which have been welcomed by families.
The more durable blue bags will have longer, loop handles, increased height and a wider top opening to fit a 90-litre dustbin and a new voucher scheme will be introduced for homeowners who don’t receive their allocated 80 bags in time.
Millicent Reeves, Charvil, posted on getwokingham.co.uk: “Despite asking several times I’ve still got the ‘wrong’ bags – a bit flimsy and too small.
“But I manage and, grumbles aside, the scheme obviously works.
“A bag that could properly line my bin and strong enough to lift out once filled would be perfect.
“I have a full roll left – 80 bags is more than enough for my household of four.”
One man, who wished to remain anonymous, added: “The bags are of a poor quality and tear very easily.
“We put our rubbish in bags, which then go in the bin bags. I probably use more bags now than I did before the change and I am not happy that my household of four gets the same number of bags as a single resident.”
People who don’t receive their 80 bags by April 1, will receive vouchers which can be exchanged for bags at the libraries, and the town council and borough council offices.
But Mavdo, Wokingham commented: “People didn’t get their bags because those delivering them struggled with the massive task of delivering a few million of the things, some of which were incorrectly sized.
“If they fail again we have to go and pick them up.
“What a cop out. If they can deliver a voucher, why can’t they deliver the bags?”
Customer service changes could also be made if the proposals are approved by the council’s executive tomorrow night, meaning Veolia would only deal with bulky waste collections and Wokingham Direct would be the main point of contact.
The borough council’s reception would also be set up to deal with greater demand if needed.
A new home compost incentive scheme is also being considered, with up to 2,000 home composters available with a £10 discount.
Councillor Angus Ross, executive member for environment, said: “We recognise there were issues with the scheme when it was first introduced,but we have listened to people’s concerns and views, and have worked hard to come up with proposals to address these.
“The proposed changes will improve the quality of the service for residents, as well as make savings to their public purse.”
There has been a 22 per cent reduction in household waste collected, and a 24 per cent increase in kerbside recycling since the scheme launched.
If the plans are approved they will come into force from April 1.