RECYCLING more will become the New Year resolution for households across the borough as rubbish collections become fortnightly.

Councillors approved plans to move to an alternative weekly waste collection which will see black bins collected one week and blue bins another week.

Signalling the change Clr David Keane (LAB - Penketh and Cuerdley), executive board member for environment and public protection, said: “This is something two thirds of councils already do. Perhaps we have been a bit remiss not joining on this one earlier.

“More than 2,000 tonnes of waste would be diverted into recycling bins. People are pushed to take more waste from their black bin and put it in their blue bin. It changes residents attitudes to recycling.”

He told an executive board meeting on Monday the changes would not result in compulsory redundancies for front line staff and instead the council would not rely on agency staff as much.

And Clr Keane said Eric Pickles scheme to offer grants to councils to keep weekly collections was not viable because funding was for three years but councils had to keep running weekly collections for five years - losing out on annual savings of an estimated £900,000 a year.

The council will now seek the public’s views on how to bring in the changes.

Clr Keane added: “There will be some demand for second bins, we are prepared to consider these applications but they may be subject to waste mini audits.”

Council leader Clr Terry O’Neill added: “We are trying to encourage more people to recycle and compost. I’m sure the majority of people understand, most people’s black bins aren’t full enough to put out every week.

“We have a waste strategy in place and we can confidently convince our residents to do this.”

Clr Ian Marks, leader of the Lib Dem Group on the council said he could understand the change to save money.

But he criticised how Labour had gone about it: “They appear to be imposing the change on the public without proper consultation. Their questionnaire does little more than ask people what problems they would have. This is typical Labour arrogance.

“They need to sell the scheme to those areas where there are much lower levels of recycling.”

Clr Marks also called on Labour to raise its ambitions on recycling rates to more than the 55 per cent aim for 2020 from 43 per cent now.

A further report to the executive board on the changes will be heard in February.