RESIDENTS will be asked to adjust to some “uncomfortable” changes to bin collections in Clacks come this October.

Proposals to introduce a grey bin for dry paper and card while moving wheeled bin collections to a four-weekly cycle to prompt “behavioural change” have been agreed by Clackmannanshire Council on Thursday, May 18.

The move was approved by a majority of Wee County representatives following a lengthy debate, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions in the area.

Recycling will be separated by households to keep paper and cardboard dry in a bid to reduce contamination and maximise efficiency.

The existing blue bin will stay for metal cans, plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays and cartons with both bins to be collected every four weeks.

The green bin for non-recyclables will also be uplifted every four weeks but there will be no changes to the collection of garden waste or food caddies.

The changes are ultimately aimed at improving recycling rates by putting pressure on households to make full use of all bins, reducing emissions.

Fewer collections will mean trucks taking to routes less often while the treatment of waste is the single biggest contributor to the council's greenhouse gas emissions.

Councillors grilled officers on the proposals at last week's meeting while two amendments were also presented.

Council leader Ellen Forson, whose amendment calling for a communication strategy to be developed and approved passed, said there was a need for change in the face of climate change, but admitted it will be “uncomfortable”.

“I have no place to put a third bin, nor my neighbours, but I'll ask them if they'd consider a communal bin,” she told the chamber after a number of potential issues were highlighted.

There were concerns over the pressure households would experience, worries about rodents, recycling of contaminated cardboard such as pizza boxes and more with officers in turn addressing issues.

The council leader called on officers to engage with communities over the summer, proactively going out to gala days and similar to explain the changes to come and address concerns raised.

The proposals were born out of Zero Waste Scotland funding for an external assessment of the kerbside collection service with four scenarios modelled.

Cllr Mark McLuckie sought to convince the chamber to opt for an alternative option which would keep green bin collections three-weekly with alternating fortnightly recycling.

He said this would allow success while not being an “all in” option with no space for escalation.

“We would have feedback to escalate to option three [the model ultimately approved] with community buy-in,” he told the chamber.

However, the chamber earlier heard the council would be awarded £583,890 from a Zero Waste Scotland fund to support the preferred changes and officers could not confirm if the funding would be awarded to support other options.

Cllrs Bryan Quinn and Forson both raised concerns the funding would be put at risk and the amendment ultimately failed to gather support.

There are ambitious government targets to meet, such as 70 per cent of all waste recycled by 2025, and potential penalties should they be failed.

Cllr Fiona Law, spokesperson for environment and net zero, told the chamber she would not want to be raising council tax next year just to pay for said penalties.

Following the meeting, she said: “The Zero Waste Scotland funding will allow us to increase our recycling efforts and help towards future-proofing our service ahead of impending national policy changes.

“I’d like to thank residents for their efforts in already achieving a recycling rate of 50 per cent, however, I know that we can all help to improve on this.

“Our residents care about Clackmannanshire and our environment, so we are looking forward to working with them to bring them a more efficient and environmentally friendly service which will increase our recycling figures and reduce our waste.

“This is another positive step on our journey to net zero Clackmannanshire.”

Representatives of the waste collection service provided reassurance at the meeting that they would proactively work with residents to resolve any issues and provide support where appropriate.

All present, except for three Labour councillors who supported an alternative model, voted in favour.