NEWPORT City Council is considering reducing rubbish collections to once every three weeks, a councillor has claimed.

Councillors on a working group looking at the issue have already visited another local authority in Wales to see how it handles three-weekly collections.

And the leader of the council's independent group Cllr Kevin Whitehead believes the working group is now actively considering the three-weekly collection.

This is the second time Newport council has considered such a move with the last attempt falling down after a massive public backlash to the plan.

Cllr Whitehead has slammed the idea, saying he believes it would cause “chaos”.

He said: “I know that a group of councillors went to Conwy last month to look at how well the authority manages with bin collections every three weeks.”

Conwy County Borough Council made the controversial decision of moving to bin collections every three weeks in 2016 and is now trialling monthly collections.

“I have heard from very reliable sources about the three weekly bin collections idea,” said Cllr Whitehead.

“I think it’s an outrageous idea and we need to oppose it. Can you imagine having your bin collected only once every three weeks? It would cause chaos. We already have a problem with seagulls and rats but with rubbish being left round for longer it’ll get worse. Fly-tipping would also get worse because of rubbish building up.”

The Bettws councillor added that he feared the system could be introduced as early as next year.

A spokeswoman for Newport council said the council is looking at a "host of options" to make its waste strategy “as efficient as possible”.

She said: “This strategy will include looking at how we operate the Household Waste Recycling Centre and all area collections to ensure we get the right balance for crews to be as efficient as possible.

“As part of the plans all services are being analysed to improve recycling and help the council reach the targets laid out by Welsh Government.

"To this end members of the council’s scrutiny committee have been involved in the democratic process so they can review all the information and make recommendations.

“Part of the process included a visit to a different local authority in Wales to gather information but results on the whole process have not yet been discussed.

“This is a huge process and once the report is drawn up it will be discussed by scrutiny before going through the democratic process of cabinet and full council in the future.”

Rogerstone councillor Chris Evans, Rogerstone said he understood the challenges the current administration faces in meeting recycling targets but said that "the people of Newport shouldn’t be bounced into bin collections every three weeks."

He added: "I’m opposing collections once every three weeks because city problems, including with vermin, would worsen.

"I have received emails and calls about rats, but if you leave rubbish bags out for longer then of course the vermin problem won’t get better.”

Former council leader Cllr Matthew Evans also added his opposition to the potential of a three-weekly bin day.

“I am mortified about the possibility of bin collections every three weeks,” said Cllr Evans. “If some people aren’t managing with collections fortnightly what will happen if it’s made to once every three weeks?”