“WE APPRECIATE that there are certain things that can make your green bin smell more unpleasant”.

That’s the message from the council after residents raised concerns about three-weekly non-recycling collections last week.

As the borough gets ready for a shift in bin timetables, the council is preparing households for the changes set to come.

READ MORE: When will I receive my food waste bin?

The introduction of weekly food-waste collections on March 1 will mean green non-recycling bins are collected every three weeks instead of every fortnight.

Since the changes were revealed in January 2020, many residents have raised concerns about the possibility of bins becoming smelly with three-weeks’ worth of rubbish inside them.

Now the council has addressed these concerns with a post on social media offering tips to reduce the possibility of bad odours.

It read: “Having three weeks’ worth of nappies, pet waste and sanitary products may seem daunting.

READ MORE: Backlash to council green bin video

“However, tightly wrapping these and keeping your bin lid closed will significantly reduce the smell.

“Food can also make your green bins smell, but with our new weekly #foodwaste collections this should decrease.

“You can contact the waste team for support and advice if you are concerned and have a genuine and unavoidable need for extra waste capacity.

“They will have a number of solutions they can offer, and these will be tailored to individual circumstances.”

Other advice offered included regularly cleaning bins and keeping it out of direct sunlight.

READ MORE: Food waste collection service ready for March

Residents can contact the council’s waste team about securing extra bin capacity here.

Some residents questioned the council’s advice to ‘tightly wrap’ nappies and pet waste, suggesting this may increase plastic sent to landfill.

Others warned the three-weekly collections could lead to overflowing bins, an increase in fly-tipping and more vermin.

One resident commented: “I am all in favour of the food waste bins, however, we are a family of 6 with twins in nappies and have already got an additional smaller sized green bin which you gave us but we already fill both these within the two weeks, I am a bit concerned that by three weeks we will have run out of space despite the extra bin and the food waste bin.”

Bin changes: the facts

What is changing and when will bin collections start?

The changes will begin on Monday, March 1.

Weekly food waste collections will be introduced meaning green non-recycling bins will be collected every three weeks instead of every fortnight to offset the cost of the new food waste bins.

Blue recycling bins will still be collected every fortnight.

Some residents have started seeing caddies, caddy liners and an information package delivered to their doors, with the remaining deliveries expected until February 26.

Why are these changes being introduced?

By recycling food waste, BFC hopes to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 50 per cent — a move it says will contribute to its goal of tackling climate change.

In order to provide food waste collection, however, BFC is reducing how frequently it collects green non-recycling bins.

In a January 2020 report published by the council, it was claimed: “reducing the refuse collection frequency will improve the performance of a food waste service as well as increasing the use of the current recycling services compared to if the refuse service remained the same as currently.”

According to BFC, recycling leftovers could mean almost 4,000 tonnes of food is directed away from landfill.

How much will the changes cost?

Introducing weekly food waste collections and emptying green bins every three weeks instead of every two weeks will save the council around £185,000 over the next seven years.

According to a January 2020 report, introducing weekly food waste collections and emptying green bins every two weeks would have cost the authority £2.29 million over the next seven years.

How do residents feel about the changes?

The move to introduce three-weekly non-recycling bin collections attracted opposition last year.

More than 3,000 people signed a petition against the switch and many residents continue to vent their frustration with the plan online.

However, it appears most residents are in favour of the new food waste collection service.

A statement on the petition page reads: “To make it clear, we are not against the food waste bins, but we are VERY much against the 3 weeks collection.”

Was there a vote and a consultation on the changes?

Bracknell Forest Council chiefs held a press conference in January 2020 to announce the introduction of food waste bins and the changes to green-bin collection.

Here, representatives of local groups and the press had the opportunity to ask council bosses about the plans.

Later in January, the council’s executive — made up of the council’s top eight councillors — approved the changes.

In July, the executive approved a delay to the introduction of the changes following issues caused by the pandemic.

What can go in my bins now?

Black food waste bins will be able to accommodate all cooked and uncooked food, meat and fish bones, tea bags and coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, banana skins and apple cores, pet food, out of date food (without packaging), cooking oil in a sealed plastic bottle (this needs to be in the outdoor caddy on collection day).

Green non-recycling bins can carry broken toys, disposable nappies, polystyrene, black plastics, such as biscuit or chocolate box trays, plastic film, any other waste which can’t be recycled.