Swindon will take a significant step towards expanding its recycling services by introducing a trial collection of separate food waste recycling.

The trial is being introduced as part of the Council’s 10-year waste strategy, which outlines its commitment to protecting the environment and managing the borough’s waste and recycling responsibly, and is one of a number of important changes to the Council’s waste and recycling services that will be introduced over the coming months.

Residents are encouraged to support the Council’s efforts to reduce the amount of waste households produce and increase the amount Swindon recycles for the benefit of the borough and the wider environment.

The trial of separate food waste recycling will start from this September and will be trialled during 2019/20 before a full introduction to the wider borough next year.

In recent engagement feedback, more than 70 per cent of residents asked for a food waste recycling service. Food waste makes up a large proportion of the waste currently processed into fuel at the Council’s Solid Recovered Fuel plant and the introduction of this new collection will allow the borough and its residents to recycle far more of the waste produced by the town.

Trial routes will be announced next month, along with the delivery of food caddies (bins) to the trial areas containing all the information residents will need to make use of the service.

In addition to food waste recycling, kerbside recycling will become compulsory for all Swindon households from 1 August 2019. Residents will be expected to present all of their recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard, cans, glass bottles and jars in recycling boxes instead of the black wheelie bin/blue bag.

From August, the Council’s waste wardens will be working with residents who put recyclable materials in their black wheelie bin/blue bag, providing helpful advice and, where necessary, encouraging participation with formal enforcement.

Following the lead of many other Councils, a £7 charge for replacement recycling boxes will be introduced on the 1 August 2019. Last year the Council spent £90,000 supplying new or replacement boxes and the ongoing charge is designed to cover the annual cost.

New homes in the borough will continue to be provided with two free-of-charge boxes as standard. If Council collection crews damage any boxes they will be replaced free of charge and there will be concessions for those on low incomes.

Residents should clearly mark their boxes with their address to aid identification by the collection crews. Box lids should be securely closed before being left out for collection, so their contents and lids are not easily blown away.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and the Environment, said: “Our waste strategy will help Swindon to achieve the best possible environmental and economic outcomes over the next decade.

“There has been a real focus in the past couple of years on the impact our waste is having on the environment and we all have a responsibility to reduce the amount of waste we produce and recycle as much as possible

“This year we will be trialling a new food waste collection, which we hope residents will get involved with. If residents use the service it will have a real impact on Swindon’s recycling ambitions.

“We will also be introducing compulsory recycling which will provide the opportunity for our waste wardens to support those who are struggling to recycle and help people feel more confident in their recycling abilities.

“We have high aspirations for the future of waste reduction and recycling in Swindon and we are determined to introduce new initiatives that will enable us to become as sustainable as possible.”

To find further information on the strategy, and details about recycling, please visit swindon.gov.uk/recycling.

All households will receive an essential guide to waste and recycling in Swindon from 24 June which will contain information on additional services and what the Council will accept in its collections. For more information on the Council’s 10-year waste strategy residents can visit sustainableswindon.co.uk.