RESIDENTS in Wokingham have collected the equivalent weight of more than 54 African elephants during the first month of the food waste recycling scheme.

In April 21-litre kerbside food waste containers were delivered across households as part of the new scheme, designed to prevent animals getting into the waste bin.

The collections were introduced after it was found that only around 30 per cent of the blue bag waste can be recycled in regular food waste collections.

A total of 383 tonnes of leftover food waste has been collected by residents and 640 tonnes of polluting greenhouse gases have been prevented from entering the atmosphere through landfill.

In the first four weeks alone, each household that received a set of caddies recycled an average of six kilos, the council say.

Councillor Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “We’ve been blown away by local residents’ enthusiasm for our new food waste recycling scheme.

“In just over a month people have diverted 383 tonnes of leftover food away from landfill. If you’ve not yet used your caddy, I urge you to do so and join us in our fight against food waste.”

The council are suggesting that by mid-June the food waste collected in April will become more than 100 tonnes of compost, hundreds of litres of a productive natural fertiliser for agricultural use, as well as tonnes of harvested biogas, used as a source of renewable energy for homes and businesses.

A brand-new fleet of waste collections vehicles have been used to collect the waste across the borough, which mean mixed recycling and food waste is collected by the same lorry.

The bins are collected on a weekly basis, for more information, visit: