Agenda item

Climate Change Report

To brief the re3 Joint Waste Disposal Board on work aimed at helping to reduce the impact on climate change from the treatment of waste within the re3 area.


The Board received a report briefing them on work aimed at helping to reduce the impact on climate change from the treatment of waste within the re3 area.


Climate change was being brought to the Board’s attention as there had been a declaration of climate crisis in Reading and Wokingham (and interest in action across the entire partnership area). Requests from members for progress on the specific issue.  This was a high profile issue both locally and nationally and the government were being proactive on the issue.


re3 were currently talking to Reading University about potential work on climate change.  This would help to support decision making in relation to waste, and would offer a different perspective, as well as identifying new means of assessing operational choices.


The Board were provided with a graph that showed the composition and content of waste for each Council and the indicative CO2 equivalent per kg. Waste going to landfill was a key area to focus on and address. For Wokingham, the key different in their CO2 output was due to the introduction of food waste collection and recycling. 


It was very early days, and progress would be reported back through council officers and at next board. It was fortunate that the University was so close and willing to help.


The re3 Project Director was not sure whether similar work was being done elsewhere, but re3 intended to find out. If there was research already available then this would be helpful, if not then re3 would be leading the way


Peter Baveystock was happy to provide briefings to both Reading and Bracknell before the next Board meeting regarding Wokingham’s food waste implementation. He also provided a verbal update:


·         The implementation of food waste had been very challenging.

·         The response from the public had been very positive. Very few food bins had been handed back.

·         Food bins had been delivered after the blue bags with many residents calling to ask where their bins were.

·         The communications employed by Wokingham and developed with the assistance of WRAP and re3 had been effective.

·         Wokingham’s Members were encouraged by how much the public had embraced the food waste bins.

·         It was key to provide the bin liners, if a resident wished to have more bags, these were available for free at all libraries.

·         The food waste went  through a pipe then the bag was extracted and sent to energy from waste (EfW), so they didn’t end up in landfill.  This was because the biodegradable bags tended to turn into a sponge type consistency and block the pipe system.

·         Home composting was still ok to do.

·         Residents were particularly please that cooking oil could be put into the food waste boxes.

·         Promotion of the service in flats was just starting, some flats had already approached the Council to introduce the food waste recycling.


It was suggested that the bags could be made available at small local small corner shops or in Reading’s case somewhere near the train station to be of help to commuters.


Councillor Mrs Hayes asked if she could have an example food waste box and caddy to take to Bracknell’s next Full Council.


RESOLVEDthat Members note the contents of the report.


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