North West Wales

Three-week black bin collection plan in Welsh council

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Media captionThe council said the changes would save money and help the environment

Three-weekly collections for black bag rubbish have been approved by a Welsh council for the first time.

The new system approved by Gwynedd council will start in certain areas in October.

The council said its weekly kerbside recycling and food collection services justified the three-week system.

Gwynedd is thought to be the second council in the UK to introduce household rubbish collections every three weeks, after Falkirk in Scotland.

The council currently collects rubbish fortnightly.

The collections will change in the Dwyfor area in October, followed by Meirionnydd and Arfon in 2015.

Doretta Cocks, who runs the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections, said: "It's absolutely ridiculous. I feel so sorry for the residents affected.

"Can you imagine what it will be like over the summer months? It's bad enough with fortnightly collections. The bins will be full of maggots."

Ms Cocks, who says she has 30,000 members across the UK, said she thought the move to introduce three-weekly collections in October was "deliberate" to avoid the potential of an immediate backlash over the summer months.

She added: "Other councils will certainly try and follow this. It'll be monthly collections next."

A report to Gwynedd council's cabinet committee said reducing the collection service would save about £350,000 annually and reduce landfill waste.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, member of the cabinet committee with responsibility for the environment, said the decision takes on board concerns raised by some of the 2,500 people who had taken part in a consultation exercise.

He said nappies and clinical waste could be collected more regularly and those with large families of over six could ask for a larger bin.

"The days of throwing things in a hole in the ground have passed," said Cllr Roberts.

"We want people to recycle more."

Welsh assembly shadow environment minister Russell George said: "Overflowing and festering bins caused by less frequent collections will increase fly-tipping, encourage vermin and other pests and litter Welsh streets."

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