Waste and Recycling E-newsletter - Spring edition

Can't see images? View online


for Bracknell Forest

Here is what is in your Recycle for Bracknell Forest Spring edition.

Food waste action week
  • One year of food waste
  • Food waste action week
  • Leftover recipe - baked sponge pudding
  • Small electricals and battery recycling
  • What happens to contaminated recycling
  • Latest incentive scheme news - good causes
  • Upcoming events

One year of food waste

Recycle more and waste less

Food waste

Bracknell Forest’s food waste recycling service continues to grow, with approximately 90 per cent of the borough’s households participating since the launch in March 2021.

Thanks to residents' hard work, a year on from the first round of collections, over 6,031 tonnes of food waste has been collected and recycled. This monumental effort has prevented the equivalent of 3,719 tonnes of Co2e from entering the atmosphere.

Recycling up, general waste down

As well as introducing the food waste recycling service to houses across the borough, the council also reduced their general waste collections to once every three weeks, allowing residents to make the most of the recycling services on offer to them.

As a result, across Bracknell Forest recycling rates have improved from 43 per cent pre-service changes, and it’s now on track to be over 50 per cent for 2021/22.

Caddy maintenance

There are some simple steps you can take to keep your caddies clean and safe:

  • To prevent your 23 litre outdoor caddy going missing, we advise that you number it using paint, a permanent marker, or adhesive numbers.
  • Caddies should be washed regularly to avoid bad smells and unwanted pests.
  • If you are struggling with too much food waste for one outdoor caddy, you can now request an additional one using our online form.

Food waste action week

7 - 13 March

Food Waste Action Week

The average UK family wastes eight meals every week. And it is costing the earth in more ways than one!

Monday, 7 March marked the beginning of the UK’s second ever Food Waste Action Week. Around a third of the food produced globally is lost or wasted and it’s having a real impact on climate change, contributing 8-10 per cent of total man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Food Waste Action Week is a whole week of action to raise awareness of the environmental consequences of wasting food.

Reducing food waste - what can you do to help? 

Hitting the freeze button

Freezing our food buys us a bit more time before it goes off, but many of us lack confidence when it comes to defrosting, and those good intentions can go out the window because we forget to take food back out of the freezer. In fact, 19 per cent of us have binned something frozen in the last fortnight because it's been in our freezers too long.

As a nation, we're scratching our heads when it comes to freezing and defrosting.

When you take your food out of the freezer, it's important to defrost it safely before cooking or eating it.

Don't defrost food at room temperature. Ideally, food should be defrosted fully in the fridge. Check the guidance on food packaging and allow enough time for your food to defrost properly. Make sure your food is fully defrosted before cooking. Partially defrosted food may not cook evenly, meaning that harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process. Once food has been defrosted, eat it within 24 hours. 

If it isn't possible to defrost in the fridge, use a microwave directly before cooking.

Microwave musts

Follow these handy tips to ensure your food is defrosted and ready to cook:

  • If you froze your food in the original packaging, remove it first.
  • Put the food on a microwave-safe plate and cover it.
  • Microwave using the defrost setting or a specific defrosting programme e.g. for meat.
  • Always check the microwave manual and food packaging for any defrosting instructions. There may be guidance on turning, stirring, or standing times.
  • Once food has been defrosted in the microwave, it should be cooked straight away.

For more handy tips on how to reduce your food waste in your home, visit Love Food Hate Waste

Quick and easy leftover recipe

Baked sponge pudding

Baked sponge pudding

This simple sponge pudding sits on a yummy layer of your choice and is perfect for using up all sorts of leftover sweet foods. The sponge can be flavoured with store cupboard ingredients, such as almond or vanilla essence, chocolate chips or ground ginger, and the base layer can be jam, marmalade, golden syrup, stewed or tinned fruits.


  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 85g margarine or butter
  • 110g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Variations for the sponge:
  • Spicy fruit: add 86g of dried fruit and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • Mocha: add 1 dessert spoon of cocoa and 1 teaspoon of coffee
  • Citrus: add the grated rind of an orange or lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Grease an oven proof dish and put a layer of your choice in the bottom of the dish.
  3. Cream the margarine and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and milk a little at a time and beat until absorbed.
  5. Sift in the flour and salt and gently fold in until mixed.
  6. Place the sponge mixture in an even layer in the dish over the base layer. Bake until the sponge is golden brown and springs back into shape when gently pressed (for about 40 minutes).

For more tasty leftover recipes, visit Love Food Hate Waste

Small electricals and battery recycling

Please do not put small electricals or batteries in your bins!

Truck Fires

Recently, we have had fires in our collection vehicles due to a hairdryer and batteries being placed in household bins. Not only is it a huge safety risk to our crews when this happens, but it also causes delays to collections.

Thank you to the crews and the emergency services for responding so quickly.

Incidents like this can easily be avoided as batteries and small electricals can be recycled at our re3 recycling centres and batteries can also be recycled at many supermarkets.

To find out more about small electricals recycling, please visit our website.

What happens to contaminated recycling?

Common items of contamination found in the recycling bins


* pictures above show items that you are unable to recycle in your blue household bin.

Did you know, on average our recycling can be up to 15 per cent contaminated by the time it reaches the re3 centre?

Common items of contamination found in the recycling bins include plastic bags, glass bottles and jars, wires, wet cardboard, textiles, videotapes and food waste. If these items are not removed, they can cause damage to the sorting machine, which can lead to expensive repairs and downtime.

While the sorting machine can remove some of these items, much of the contamination is removed manually by the staff.

In general, the following items can be placed in your blue recycling bins:

  • Plastic bottles (e.g. drinks, milk, toiletries, detergent)
  • Plastic pots (e.g. yoghurt, cream, soup)
  • Plastic trays (e.g. fruit punnets, meat / cake trays)
  • Plastic tubs (e.g. ice cream, margarine, sweet tubs)
  • Paper and card
  • Cartons (e.g. juice, milk, soup cartons)
  • Clean foil and foil trays
  • Tins and cans (e.g. drink cans, food tins, biscuit or sweet tins)
  • Empty aerosol cans (e.g. deodorant, air freshener, hairspray, de-icer)
  • Shredded paper (must be contained in a small cardboard box or envelope)

Please ensure you only put the correct items in your blue recycling bin and please remember NOT to place any plastic bags / tissues / napkins / kitchen roll these all need to go in your refuse bin.

If you are ever in doubt, please use the re3cyclopedia app to find out the best way to dispose of an item.

If you are struggling to dispose of your recycling in your blue bin, an additional blue recycling bin can be requested. To request an additional blue bin, please visit our website.

Latest incentive scheme news

Good causes

Good Causes

Sandhurst Health Walks, 1st Warfield Rainbows and The Green Champion are the latest three good causes to benefit from the recycling incentive scheme’s good causes. Sandhurst Health Walks received £410, 1st Warfield Rainbows received £340 and The Green Champion received £250, thank you to everyone who donated their points.

The three good causes in the next round of funding to receive a share of the £1,000 pot, provided by the council and their waste collection contractor SUEZ, are:

1st Owlsmoor Scout Group

The money will help us to purchase 30 litter picking sticks so the group can support in cleaning up the area where they live. This will also help them gain their community badge.

Sandy Lane School Association

The school association is fundraising to help our school get a new library for the pupils. There could also be opportunities for parents and for the community to use it and its space when not used by the pupils.

Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue

The money will help us to purchase medical supplies. The team have to maintain all their own medical equipment ensuring they can provide the highest standards of medical care.

These causes will be changing over on 30 April 2022.

Upcoming events

Recycling day

Recycling Day

Bracknell Forest residents can drop off their clothing and small electrical items to recycle and gain 500 recycling incentive scheme points by doing so.

When and where

Saturday, 19 March 2022 from 9:30am - 12:30pm

John Nike Stadium (athletics track) car park, Bracknell Leisure Centre, South Hill Road, RG12 7NN


For more information, visit our website, or to see how your electricals are recycled watch this video. Don't forget to bring your e+ card with you!

Did you know

You can sign up to other Bracknell Forest Council newsletters, such as libraries and leisure, by creating a self service account, or logging into your account if you already have one. Just click on my account.

Manage preferences or unsubscribe  |  Help