Fortnightly collections are to be introduced

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FORTNIGHTLY black bin collections look set to be introduced in Leigh next year.

The move is part of council chiefs bid to save £14m from the borough’s waste disposal and recycling budget in the next nine years.

The council faces being hit with big Government fines if it does not raise its recycling and composting rates from the current 36 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020 because of European legislation.

The collection changes have yet to be discussed by the council’s cabinet, but there is little sign that they will be thrown out.

What will be introduced is “managed” weekly collections by autumn 2012, with the black bins emptied one week and the green bins – which will soon be able to take food waste as well as garden refuse, the other.

The council wants residents to see if they can manage with putting all their food waste in the green bin every fortnight because that is the bin that boosts their recycling quotas and spares them from being hit with so much landfill tax.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “We are striving to find the right balance between meeting householders’ needs, improving recycling performance and providing value for money.

“The proposals make financial sense. It’s much cheaper to recycle and treat waste than to send it to landfill, and adopting modern practices would avoid costs of up to £14m by 2020.

Wigan Council has increased kerbside collections massively in recent years. Residents now have fortnightly collections for garden waste, and for cans, glass and plastic recyclables.

Households with green bins would be given plastic caddies and compostable caddy liners to put their food waste in, before transferring it to the green bin.

Households without green bins would be given a larger outdoor caddy to put their food waste out for collection.

Bin crew jobs will not be affected because they will have just as much work overall.