BLACK bins in Herefordshire could be emptied only once every three weeks, if Herefordshire Council agrees to the idea.

But if agreed, from late 2023, Herefordshire homes would have a new weekly food waste collection and a seasonal garden waste collection fortnightly.

The council is proposing an alternate three-weekly collection service of paper and card on week one, plastic, cans and glass on week two and all other waste of week three.

Currently rubbish and recycling collections are fortnightly in Herefordshire, with recycling and general waste collected on alternate weeks

Separating paper and card from other recyclables should lead to more being accepted by recycling companies for recycling into new products than is the case now, Herefordshire Council said.

Changes to the way the council collects recycling and waste underpin environmental targets agreed by cabinet last July to reduce household waste by 36 per cent to less than 330kg a year and more than double the county’s reuse and recycling rates from 40 per cent to 85 per cent by 2035.

The council hopes to stop sending any waste to landfill at all by 2035, as commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The council’s contract with the current waste and recycling collection contractor is due to end in 2023 and cannot be extended. The cabinet will be asked next week to agree to re-advertise the service to the industry.

If agreed, the council said the move would drive further savings on the cost of its disposal contract to help pay for the new collections.

It also said the extension would also secure immediate environmental benefits.

These should include a 95 per cent reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill from 20 per cent to just one per cent from April 2022 and steps to ensure all recycled materials can be audited and traced if being sent outside Europe.

As is currently the case, the council said it would work with managing agents, residents associations and people who live in flats to ensure they have a service that reflects their needs but provides maximum opportunities for them to recycle.

For large families, or for people with medical needs, the council will continue to offer additional waste capacity as it does now.