What happens to waste in Wokingham Borough?

It’s never been more important to know what happens to our waste in Wokingham Borough. We put so much effort into recycling the right items, putting food scraps into food waste caddies and taking batteries and soft plastics to recycling points. There is a sense of ‘what now’ when it comes to the next step for our waste.

After the bins are collected 

No matter what day your collection takes place, it will look the same. Bin crews running around tirelessly bringing all the different types of bags and bins up to the main rubbish truck. From there, they sort it. There are two compartments at the rear of the truck and one down the side for food waste. So while you may see your bin men throwing most of your waste into the back – know that it’s definitely being handled correctly and sorted as it goes along. And that’s just the beginning of the sorting process! 

Where do the rubbish trucks from Wokingham Borough go? 

After a round of collections has taken place, trucks drop off different loads in different areas. For example, your recycling will head to Reading to be sorted further while your household rubbish will head to an Energy from Waste facility in Colnbrook. Food waste is transported to a Anaerobic Digestion facility in Oxfordshire. But what do all of these places do? You guessed it, they sort our waste even more until there are truck loads of particular waste that go to specialised sites. 

It’s not a case of shipping everything off across the country, out of the 46 specialist sites that receive waste from Re3, only 5 are abroad (in countries such as the Netherlands and Germany). These are the type of facilities that specialise with things like car battery waste, large electrical items such as fridges and large bales of card.  

So if you think your waste is heading all over the world – chances are it’s less than 100 miles away at a specialist site being recycling into vital materials. 

What can go in Wokingham Borough recycling bags? 

There is always slight confusion about what can and can’t go in recycling bags at the kerbside. It’s because packaging can be very misleading. Just because something says ‘recyclable’ on the packet, doesn’t mean it should go in your recycling bag. It’s far more important to familiarise yourself with the lists below than it is to read packaging.

Put these in your recycling bag:  

  • Cardboard, for example cereal boxes, corrugated card, egg boxes, kitchen and toilet roll tubes, compacted delivery boxes greetings cards or pizza boxes 
  • Plastic bottles with their lids for example drinks, milk, toiletries or detergent  
  • Plastic pots for example yoghurt, cream, snack or soup 
  • Trays that are plastic for example fruit punnets, meat, cake or vegetable trays 
  • Plastic tubs for example ice cream, margarine or sweets tubs 
  • Paper for example catalogues, flyers, leaflets, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, wrapping paper 
  • Cartons/Tetra Pak for example juice, milk or soup cartons 
  • Clean foil and foil trays 
  • Tins and cans for example drink cans, food tins, biscuit and sweet tins 
  • Empty aerosol cans e.g. deodorant, air freshener, hairspray, de-icer 
  • Shredded paper must be in an envelope 

DO NOT put these in your recycling bag:  

  • Soft plastics – any plastic bag, crisp packets, plastic wrap/film or food and pet food pouches – check your local supermarket for a return facility  
  • Black plastic trays 
  • Glass bottles and jars – find recycling banks on the Greenredeem recycling locator. Make sure you leave the metal caps on when recycling 
  • Kitchen towels, tissues or wet wipes 
  • Food waste  
  • Nappies and sanitary products 
  • Disposable coffee cups 
  • Coffee pods 
  • Textiles (clothing, bedding, duvets). Find recycling banks on the Greenredeem recycling locator tool
  • Polystyrene trays or packaging 
  • Foil or glittered wrapping paper 
  • Bulky items – see large unwanted item collection service  
  • Hard plastics -  plant pots, buckets, crates, bins, storage boxes, garden furniture, pipes and toys – can go to recycling centres 
  • Garden waste  

To make the most of your recycling, stick to these rules but also remember. Your recycling bags need to be kept closed so that they’re not contaminated! Machines cannot cope with wet paper and card, it creates a blockage, so if they’re wet – they’re thrown away. It also worth noting that machines cannot detect black plastic due to the pigment although there are developments in process to try and change this. 

Is your mind more at ease? No matter how your bin crews grab the various bags and bins from the end of your driveway, everything gets sorted, as it should so that it can reach a specialist facility. Waste in Wokingham Borough is never wasted but neatly organised to find a new home where it can be used once more.

10 Responses

    1. Highlight the code, right click your mouse and click copy, then paste it (right click and select paste) into your account area at the bottom of the page

    2. Highlight the text you want to copy, then press and hold “ctrl” and press “c”, move to the page you want to insert into and place cursor in the required field, then press and hold “ctrl” and press “v”.

  1. You’ve listed Foil in both sections, and your quiz stated you can’t put foil in recycling too. Although you’ve specified “clean foil” in the “what can go in” list this is still not very clear. Please can you make this clearer.

    Also, you’ve listed pizza boxes in the “what can go in” list which are often covered in grease which I was under the impression is not suitable for recycling, so again can you please make this clearer, thanks.

    1. Hi Gareth, clean foil can go in your recycling, for example you have used it to wrap some leftovers. However if you have used it to cook with and lined a tray before grilling sausages – it cannot be recycled. Pizza boxes are now accepted by your local recycling centre so please do recycle them.

  2. Your latest quiz re ‘what can be recycled’ does not accord with your video or writing above – both say you can recycle foil and foil trays (cleaned) but your quiz indicates that answer as incorrect. Perhaps your setter was confused by aluminised plastic foil being not recyclable whereas aluminium foil as used in cooking is.
    PS I do think that Wokingham is doing a good job

    1. Hi Fraser, we must admit, we also find the information provided unclear. But the confirmation is that clean foil can be recycled, but used foil cannot be (for example when you’ve used it for cooking purposes).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share :


If you’re not already a member, then you’re missing out! All of our members get rewarded for living a greener lifestyle, including reading this blog.