BLAENAU Gwent council has the lowest recycling rate of all local authorities in Wales according to new figures released.

Provisional figures for April 2014 to March 2015 show recycling rates for Blaenau Gwent council is 50 per cent, below the Welsh Government's target of 52 per cent.

The Welsh Government has warned if these provisional figures do not change then the council could be liable to fines.

Provisional data shows the recycling rate has improved to 56 per cent in Wales for the 12 months to the end of March 2015. The Welsh Government’s current waste strategy “Towards Zero Waste” has set a target of 70 per cent recycling/composting of municipal waste by 2024 to 2025.

Cllr John Williams, Independent member for Rassau, said: "I think it's terrible. Blaenau Gwent are trying to get to grips with it by issuing the residents all new wheelie bins but the Trolibocs is not suitable for everybody in Blaenau Gwent because of where we live."

"It is so important that we get up to scratch on this. We don't want to get to 2020 when we could be fined in the region of £450,000."

Cllr Williams said he had received a number of complaints about the introduction of the Trolibocs which is a stack of three recycling boxes on a wheeled trolley unit to recycle paper, household metal or plastic packaging and glass and cardboard. The council say these along with new recycling lorries will enable material to be sorted at the kerbside in order to comply with European legislation.

Cllr Williams said he believes the closure of all but one recycling depots has contributed to the low recycling rates along with a policy which won't allow flatbed tippers to recycle material in the centre.

A Blaenau Gwent council spokesman said they were expecting a drop in recycling during 2014/15 due to charges for green waste and a reduction in food waste collection.

He said: "It is very disappointing to see the recycling rates decrease. However we are making changes to our services aimed at improving our recycling rates including educating consumers about recycling efforts."

Waste and recycling services will be changing from October 26 where black bins will be emptied every three week, a new nappy and hygiene service will be introduced and materials such as textiles, batteries and small electrical equipment will be collected in the weekly recycling.

Weekly food waste collection will continue as normal and the fortnightly green waste service will continue every year between March and October.