A 3,000-STRONG petition calling on the council to scrap its plans to collect non-recycling waste every three weeks has been sent to the authority.

Thousands signed the petition after Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) revealed plans to make green bin collections less frequent in January.

Despite widespread support and a final signature count of 3,189, petition organiser Linsie Keen told the News: “I’m not optimistic it will actually do anything.

“Bracknell council [is] notorious for doing what’s best for them and not the residents.”

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Damian James, an assistant director at BFC, said the council had received the petition.

He added: "As with all submitted petitions, it will be subject to our usual democratic process and as such, the petitioner will be contacted by a member of our Democratic Services team in due course to discuss next steps.”

Currently, green non-recycling bins are collected every fortnight.

But under new plans, they will be collected every three weeks in order to offset the cost of weekly food waste collection.

Bracknell News:

Those who left comments on the petition described the plan as “ridiculous”, “short-sighted” and “stupid” because of fears about smells from green bins becoming more stronger.

One Bracknell resident wrote: "We are a family of five with both a cat and a dog. Three-weekly refuse collections will just not work for us.

“Three weeks worth of nappies, animal waste and feminine hygiene products sitting in a bin is going to be absolutely horrific."

Another Bracknell resident commented: “There needs to be proper consultation with the public.

“I am happy to sort food waste, but I do not believe three weekly green bin collections to be suitable.

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“Nappies, sanitary products and pet waste, already make unpleasant odours in bins especially in the heat over two weeks.”

These changes will come into force in the first week of October after councillors approved the proposals last month.

BFC bosses say enough food waste is currently thrown away in green bins that non-recycling collection will not need to be more than every three weeks going forward.

Bracknell News:

It is hoped introducing the new food waste collection service will lead to an improvement on the borough's current recycling rate of 40 per cent as it will mean almost 4,000 fewer tonnes of waste is sent to landfill.

Large families of six or more, and those residents with a medical need, can qualify for a second refuse bin if they need to put out extra waste.

A “weekly absorbent hygiene product collection” will be provided alongside the three-weekly refuse collection in order to collect nappies and incontinence pads from residents with a “significant need”.

Earlier this month, Kevin Gibbs, a director at BFC, told the News: "By changing the refuse collection to three weekly, the cost of introducing weekly food waste collections is offset.

"Putting rubbish into landfill not only wastes money, it also contributes to air pollution and to the long-term effects of climate change.

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“Instead of going to landfill, food waste will be put to good use as a result of the changes; it will be recycled into a liquid fertiliser used for farming and the recycling process releases methane which is captured to create electricity.

“We are confident that the changes will help residents dramatically reduce their carbon footprint and help to make a difference in the face of climate change.

“We understand some of our residents may be apprehensive about the changes and we welcome their feedback.”