Bin men in Blaenau Gwent can only carry one bag of rubbish at a time due to health and safety concerns.

The carrying of two bags at a time has been described as "strenuous" and time consuming for collection crews in Blaenau Gwent as the council is forced to change some back lane collections to the front of properties.

Blaenau Gwent council is recommended to stop collecting waste from some of the borough's back lanes immediately because of health and safety fears.

A 'pull out' system was introduced at the end of February where crews pull out the wheelie bins or black bags to the end of the back lanes ready to be put on the collection vehicle which also has a bin lift.

This was introduced because many of the back lanes were too narrow for the 12-tonne vehicle to go down.

There were also concerns that the vehicle's driver would not be able to get out of the cab if there was a fire or they became unwell.

This pull out system has cost the council an extra £32,284 between February and September.

Various methods were used by the crews such as carrying two bags at a time, the use of a trolley and the use of sacks to drag several bags at a time out of the lanes.

But all of these have been criticised by health and safety advisors who said they have created risks to staff which would be classed as a failing of the council's duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act and recommended a switch to front of house collections immediately.

The council said this change will start once all residents have been spoken to and informed of the changes.

It will affect 1,043 properties in Abertillery, Six Bells, Llanhilleth, Cwm, Georgetown and Ebbw Vale South who will be given wheelie bins if they don't already have them.

The council said £24,000 has been allocated to provide wheelie bins if needed.

A report by the council's environment and regeneration officer Richard Crook said it had received six formal complaints and numerous calls about the pull out system leaving litter and mess behind after the bags had been collected and also about waste being put out early and on the wrong week which has caused an "illicit dumping problem".

The report said there was also a health and safety issue when wheelie bins or black bags accumulate at the end of the lanes creating obstructions to traffic and pedestrians.

The report said a review will also now be carried out into any health and safety issues where the pull out system is used elsewhere in the borough.