Calls have been made for Flintshire Council to resist reducing the frequency of black bin collections amid claims it would unfairly penalise people who recycle responsibly.
The local authority is consulting on the future of waste services in the county and has asked residents how a change from the current fortnightly arrangement would impact them.
While officers said there were no firm plans in place to cut back on general waste collections, backbench councillors have firmly voiced their opposition to such a move.
They have instead asked the council to take tougher action against those who fail to recycle as it looks to increase rates beyond the present level of 69 per cent, which is the third best in Wales.
Speaking at a meeting of the authority’s environment scrutiny committee, Cllr Sean Bibby said most residents were good at a recycling, but added there were problem areas which needed targeting.
He also warned a move towards monthly collections, which has already been rolled out in Conwy, could attract rats and lead to waste being left in the streets.
The Shotton west representative said: “Clearly there’s a problem with a number of people who are hard to get to and not doing it.
“Personally, I think the focus should be on them and I don’t agree with three weekly or monthly bin collections because in my opinion it’s collective punishment for those who do a good job.
“We’ve got three authorities around us which have got three weekly and monthly bin collections, while we’ve still got fortnightly here in Flintshire and I’m proud to say we’ve defended that.
“Anecdotally I’ve heard things in Conwy and I read an article about Penmaenmawr, where there were lots of instances of waste in the streets and complaints about rodents.
“There were even cases of people hiring private contractors to collect waste and it’s not an avenue I want to go down to be quite honest.”
The consultation has already received almost 8,000 responses amid concerns from residents about a potential reduction in collections.
The document also outlines stricter enforcement as one of the possible actions the council could pursue along with making bins smaller.
A senior officer said changes were needed because of the number of cases where food waste and other recyclable items are being put in black bins instead of recycling containers.
Steve Jones, chief officer for Streetscene and transportation, said feedback received from members of the public reflected the views raised by Cllr Bibby.
He said: “If everybody recycled then we wouldn’t need to have this conversation and that’s the way we’re thinking.
“A lot of the responses are echoing that everybody needs to do their bit.”
The consultation is open until the end of October and can be accessed by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RecyclingHaveYourSay
The results of the survey will be brought back to the committee at a later date.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).