Brexit delays bin replacement project

BREXIT and the Covid-19 pandemic have delayed a project to replace recycling boxes in Wokingham with waterproof plastic bags.

The Conservative-run council said the 60 litre recycling bags would be delivered to 67,000 properties in Wokingham by the end of January 2021, and each property would receive two bags.

However, Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for the environment, has admitted that the bags will now be delivered in February and March 2021.

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The Tory councillor said: “The recycling bags have been manufactured abroad within the agreed timescales.

“But there are international shipping challenges – the bags are coming all the way from Vietnam – being experienced due to Covid and Brexit.

“The council’s officer team is working very hard to ensure that the bags are shipped so that these timescales can be met.”

According to the council, recycling plants no longer accept wet card and paper, and around 4,000 tonnes of Wokingham’s rain-soaked recycling will be rejected each year if it does not replace the open-top black boxes.

It would cost around £600,000 a year to dispose of this rejected recycling, but the council plans to keep all of the card and paper dry by spending £197,000 a year on the plastic bags, which are expected to last at least five years.

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That would save the council over £400,000 a year.

Several other options, such as wheelie bins and lids for the black recycling boxes, have been explored but the plastic bags were found to be the most cost-effective solution.

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