The Wokingham Paper

In the bag: Wokingham Borough Council plans to swap recycling boxes for plastic sacks

RECYCLING BOXES could be changed to hessian sacks if approved at the council meeting this Thursday.

Over the past year, there has been a problem caused by recycling companies declining cardboard that has gone soggy.

It is hoped the weighted, water-proof sacks proposed for its kerbside recycling will help keep paper and card dry.

The borough is one of the few in the country not to use wheelie bins and on Thursday, July 30, the ruling executive will be asked to approve the upfront funding needed to buy the hessian sacks.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, executive member for environment Cllr Parry Batth said: “Wet paper and card is currently reducing our overall recycling rate by about 6%, which has an environmental and financial impact. We have looked at all the options available and found these sacks are the best option.

“They are water-proof, robust and are weighted down so they will not blow away. The sacks have a slightly larger capacity than the black bins and residents would not be limited in how many of them they have – so there will be no need to overfill them or for them to get too heavy.”

The borough council has considered lidded bins or ‘shower caps’ that could be fitted over bins. But following a study commissioned from independent experts, these were found to be less effective.

In the longer term, the council will consider wheelie bins but these could not be introduced with the current fleet of vehicles available and are not a viable option currently.

Cllr Batth added: “We have to work with what is possible. Some residents like the idea of wheelie bins and others don’t – but that is an issue for the future because they could not be practically introduced in the borough with our current contract and fleet of vehicles.

“We believe the weighted, waterproof sacks are the best way to go to solve the immediate problem we face.”

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Sandra Maclaren

They need to be very robust to withstand being dragged along the driveways and pavements.

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