Bin collections across Wokingham are set to move to fortnightly rather than weekly according to a proposal put forward by the council.

The changes, which will be discussed at a meeting on March 21, follow more than a year of research, analysis and public consultation.

Instead of collecting both recycling and general rubbish on a weekly basis, each will happen on alternate weeks. Food waste collection however will continue to be collected weekly.

A proposal has also been put forward to introduce wheeled bins instead of using the current blue plastic bags which will take place by Summer 2024.

Cllr Ian Shenton, executive member for environment, sport and leisure, said: “By having weekly collections, we recycle nine to 14 per cent less than local authorities that collect rubbish fortnightly or three-weekly. We need to improve our recycling performance, the government has a new recycling target for local authorities and we just aren’t doing enough now.

“We have also set ourselves a goal in our climate emergency action plan of reaching a recycling rate of 70 per cent, and we’re not going to get there without making some changes.”

“Experience of other councils tells us that alternate weekly collections will not discourage recycling. On the contrary, it encourages residents to put recyclable waste back to recycling, instead of binning it. We expect, as a result of the changes, our recycling rate will go up to 64 per cent from our current rate of 54 per cent, and carbon emissions will be reduced by 2,400 tonnes per year.”

If the proposal is approved for a change in bin collection, the council anticipates rolling out the changes in Summer 2024, which is expected to bring a saving of more than £1 Million per year by 2025/26.

According to officials, alternate weekly collections will bring the council some much-needed support to residents during the cost-of-living crisis.

Cllr Clive Jones, leader of the council, said: “Inadequate government funding and increasing costs have left us with no choice but to change our waste services, so that we can protect vital services and help our residents during this tough time.

“If introduced in the next financial year, the changes would save us around £500,000 to start with and at least £1 million in the year after. This is the best way to make savings before the current waste service contract expires in 2026.