RECYCLING collections will double and households will be given a limited number of general rubbish bags in an effort to reduce landfill.

Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive voted on Thursday last week to bring the changes into effect from April 2012, and will start inviting tenders for the collection contract.

The changes to be introduced include providing unlimited recycling boxes for a weekly - instead of fortnightly - collection and for the garden waste collection scheme to be expanded to the whole borough, an increase of 10,000 homes.

General waste will continue to be collected weekly but the council will only collect rubbish in official sacks - 80 of which a year will be given to most homes, with more for househoulds of more than four people.

Cllr Gary Cowan, executive member for environment, said: “We are aware that 2012 may seem a long way off for our residents, however, as we will be providing an improved service to them, we want to give them as much information as possible in advance. This will continue over the coming months and years.

“We believe this is a fairer system and would encourage residents to think about recycling first, what they buy and what they throw away. If we throw less away, we can reduce the amount that goes into landfill, a process which contributes to global warming.” For garden waste, residents can pay an annual charge of £60 to have waste collected fortnightly from a 240 litre wheeled bin - or if they do not have room, they can buy 75 litre compostable sacks.

Residents who do not want to pay the charge can compost at home or take garden waste to the household waste recycling centres at Smallmead in Reading or Long Shot Lane in Bracknell.

Cllr Cowan, who said that the changes would save the council £922,000 a year, added: “We want to improve the service we provide to the local community and keep changes to a minimum whilst increasing our recycling rates and reducing the amount going to landfill. If we don’t do this, we will face big financial penalties which ultimately will cost the tax payer and would impact on vital council services.” Visit