Plymouth City Council has decided to reduce collections of main rubbish bins to help encourage recycling and to save £750,000.
Rubbish trucks currently empty standard rubbish bins weekly, but from May 2017 this will change to fortnightly, the Plymouth Herald revealed.
The council claims it has done extensive research into the city’s waste habits, and found that 82% of the city’s brown bins (those used for standard waste) were three-quarters empty when collected, and that around 20% of their contents could have been included with the recycling that is collected from the green bins.
Lou Hayward, assistant director for street services, commented: “We want to get people engaged and understanding what it is we’re trying to do. It’s going to be a big change to our habits.”
In response to concerns about flies and maggots developing in bins that are only collected fortnightly, the council is recommending residents keep their dustbin lids closed and double up their refuse sacks when putting their rubbish out for collection.
While residents in Plymouth are getting used to the idea of their rubbish collections becoming fortnightly, they should spare a thought for the households in Greater Manchester where cuts to services mean bins are collected just once every three weeks.
Locals are now paying for a private collection service in the area, claiming that they have no choice because otherwise their bins overflow and smell.
Council bosses, on the other hand, claim the reduction in refuse collection services should encourage people to make better use of the recycling options open to them, with food waste and other recycling collected more frequently.