Rubbish collections could be down to once a month as part of cuts of nearly £12million

Powys residents could see their black domestic waste rubbish bin collection move to just once a month.

The proposal is part of a package of cuts and savings proposals in the draft Powys County Council budget worth a total of £11.828 million.

The budget report said: “Delivery of these cost reductions will be essential to deliver a balanced 2021-22 budget.

“Assurance must be provided to council that the budget is robust and that the reductions included in it are deliverable.”

This would allow the county council's Head of Finance and S151 officer, Jane Thomas to “sign off the budget with confidence.”

This year’s list of cuts includes proposals by the Highways Transport and Recycling Department to save £164,000 by reducing rubbish collection and driving more recycling.

The report explained the proposal and said: "(To) Extend the three weekly residual waste collection to four weekly, whilst retaining the 180L (litre) bin provision.

“Recycling collections will remain a weekly service.

“Three weekly collections have been implemented since 2015, and to date have seen an increase in recycling.

“Powys residents are familiar with the recycling programme, and continue to perform well.

“We are confident that with this change and some further education, we will improve further.”

The report adds that Conwy County Borough in North Wales, moved to a four week cycle of rubbish collections recently, but it does use bigger 240L bins.

The report believes that the change will “help encourage even more recycling,” but products such as nappies and incontinence pads will be a problem and may need to be collected “separately” and “more often.”

An Impact Assessment of the proposal by Senior Manager for Waste and Recycling, Ashley Collins, said: “By reducing the quantity of waste for disposal and increasing the amount recycled from the kerbside, the change will make a modest contribution to savings, but should make a significant contribution to the council meeting strict WG recycling targets and thus avoiding fines.”

Fears that this could see an increase in fly-tipping will be minimised by “awareness and enforcement”.

There will also be “Awareness Advisors” to help residents with any problems that they may have with the changes.

If the council's cabinet endorses the move, it will be subject to a consultation.

Moving to three operational depots which is supposed to save £114,000, is connected to the move to four weekly collection of domestic waste.

It will see cuts to vehicles and staff.

A consultation would need to take place with the staff affected by the proposal.

Mr Collins said in the Impact Assessment: “This proposal will primarily impact the workforce due to the inevitable changes to the operational base for some staff.

“The impact on the public will be limited to collection day changes which could occur.”

Part of the council's long term financial planning has been to prepare for a number of scenarios over the next five years.

A worst case scenario would see the council’s year on year budget cut/savings, total over £37 million by 2026, with the best case being just over £7.5 million and the most likely scenario being £22.45 million.

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