RUBBISH collections in Torfaen could be monthly, if the council goes ahead with one of the options it is looking at to increase recycling and reduce landfill waste.

From 2015/16 recycling targets in Wales will increase from 52% to 58%, with councils fined in the region of £100,000 for every 1% they fall below the line.

Councils must reach recycling rates of 70% by 2025. Torfaen currently recycles 52% of its waste, meaning that if its performance remains at current levels it will face an annual fine of £600,000.

As such, the council is currently investigating three options designed to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and increase participation in recycling schemes.

The options include maintaining a fortnightly collection with a smaller black wheelie bin, a fortnightly collection of two refuse bags per household, or moving to a monthly collection using the existing 240L black wheelie bin. With all options, allowances will be made for the collection of additional waste at Christmas and New Year, and a dedicated collection for nappies will be available for those who need it. Recycling collections will continue to operate as normal.

The executive member for neighbourhood services, cllr John Cunningham, said: “We have to make reductions in the amount of waste we are sending to landfill and although we have introduced collections for green waste, food and cardboard, recycling rates have only risen by around 9% in the last five years. This is simply not enough and as well as improving our recycling services, as we have done recently with extended plastic collections, like other councils across Wales we are going to have to restrict the amount of residual waste we collect. Our officers have identified three options that will allow us to do this and we will be consulting the public for their views in due course.”

The report will be the subject of a scrutiny committee on April 3 which will determine whether the review process itself has been fair and robust. The committee meeting will be webcast and the report can be viewed on the Torfaen Council website.

The council will then carry out public consultation towards the end of April/beginning of May.

Monmouthshire has moved to restrict residual waste collections and have seen a notable uptake in recycling from 58% to 66% as a result.