Wirral Council is considering three-weekly residual collections to coincide with the introduction of weekly household food waste collections.
Its cabinet is being asked to approve more detailed work into two options: whether to replace the current green bins with smaller containers, following the introduction of the food recycling service, or to move to three-weekly residual waste collections.
A public consultation on the proposals, which are set to be implemented next year, would begin in mid-July and run for six weeks.
As part of the food collection roll-out, residents will be given a kitchen caddy for the home, a supply of liner bags and a small container for the bagged food waste, which can then be left out for collection every week alongside whatever other bin is due for collection that day.
The food collected would be sent to ReFood’s anaerobic digestion plant in Widnes.
Bernie Mooney (pictured), cabinet member for environment, said Wirral aimed to reduce residual waste by 16,000 tonnes a year to help it raise its recycling rate from 36% to 50% by 2020.
She said: “The evidence from looking at what we throw away in Wirral shows that almost 40% of rubbish that goes in the green waste bins is food, so by investing in a food recycling collection service we will significantly boost our recycling rate.
“We have come a long way in the past 10 years in Wirral with our recycling. Back in 2006, we were recycling 12% of all household waste. Now, our recycling rate stands at around 36%.
“However, we still have a way to go in order to get to 50% by 2020. This is not just an arbitrary target – it is a pledge we have made to residents and is also something we have to achieve by law or else we will be hit by expensive fines.
“It is also likely that the levy we pay for our waste disposal and treatment would rise significantly from the current £15.4m each year.”