The move is being considered by one in six local authorities to make savings and slash carbon emissions from bin lorries.
Supporters claim the move will encourage people to recycle more to avoid black bins overflowing by the time they are collected. But critics have dismissed it as “cutting back on key services while wasting money willy-nilly elsewhere”.
One council looking to change from a fortnightly to a four-weekly collection for its 155,000 households is South Gloucestershire, an area with one of England’s highest recycling rates at 60 percent. Its cabinet has voted to assess switching to three or four-weekly collections for its black bins and green waste from 2025, when its contract with bin collector Suez ends.
Moving to four weeks would save the council £800,000 a year, while opting for three weeks would save £500,000.
Council papers suggest a three-weekly collection could increase recycling by four percent and cut carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes each year.
The Local Government Association claims that inflation and energy price rises will contribute to an additional £2.4billion in “unforeseen extra cost pressures” on council budgets this year. It is feared they will be forced to reduce services as a result, with rubbish collections an obvious target.