TORFAEN council is to charge residents for bulky household collections from tomorrow in a shake-up of its refuse service.

It's part of the council's plan to increase recycling and composting to 40% by 2010.

The council currently collects items free of charge, but the service suffers with long waiting- times of up to eight weeks and is open to abuse by traders posing as householders.

Councillor John Cunningham, executive member for operational services, said: "Many tradesmen working on properties are leaving their waste behind and advising residents that the council will collect these items for free.

"The cost of disposal should be built into the overall quote and not be passed on to council taxpayers.

"Everyone should be aware that when you buy a new fridge-freezer, for example, there is a cost associated with the disposal of the old one.

The costs of disposal of waste are rising and it is unfair that everyone is paying for a service that is only used by a small proportion of residents."

The new charges will be £10 for three items and an additional £2.50 per item up to a maximum of eight per collection.

Call 01495 762200 to book a collection.

Residents can still use the civic amenity site in New Inn to dispose of large items free of charge. It's open Monday-Saturday, 7.30am- 6pm, and Sunday, 9am-6pm.

The council is working closely with Circulate Furniture Recycling to continue to offer free collection of reusable furniture.

Circulate resells discounted furniture to families on low incomes. Call them on 01495 793187.