Watford Borough Council is to go ahead with plans to empty rubbish bins every two weeks – and to charge for the collection of green waste.

Currently black bins – for non-recyclable waste – are collected from homes in Watford every week.

But at a meeting of the cabinet today (Monday, January 6) councillors decided to halve the number of times these bins are emptied.

Councillors also backed plans to issue new 23l brown bins to residents for cooked and uncooked food waste, that will be collected weekly and used for compost or electricity.

They also agreed the existing blue-lidded bins – for mixed dry recyclables such as glass and tins – will continue to be emptied weekly.

Following the decision, elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said the changes – which will be implemented in July – would encourage recycling and provide value for money.

“We gave these proposals a great deal of consideration,” said Mr Taylor.

“The changes will mean that residents have a very good collection services that provides good value for money and encourages more recycling.

“Unlike a lot of areas, people will continue to have weekly recycling bin collections and a new weekly food waste collection.

“About 70 per cent of the waste we generate at home can be recycled and this means that people will have most of their rubbish taken away every week.”

Meanwhile the cabinet also agreed to charge £45-a-year charge (reduced to £40 if paid by direct debit) for the optional collection of garden waste – which is currently collected without charge with food waste.

The new annual charge – which is expected to bring in £1.185 million over the next three years – is said to be in response to the financial challenges faced by the council.

“The council is having to respond to a 70 per cent reduction in our funding from central government,” said Mr Taylor.

“This means we have had to look at those services, like garden waste collection, which we do not have to provide but cost a lot of money to deliver.

“We will continue to provide a garden waste service for those who want it and this will be a service that is subsidised by the council.

“For several years residents in Three Rivers have had a similar service and this has resulted in high levels of recycling and a very good service for local residents.”

Residents will be able to pay for up to seven bins for garden waste per household. And for some residents on income-based benefits there will be a concessionary rate of £35.

The changes have been drawn up as part of discussions to extend the existing waste and recycling contract with Veolia for a further eight years from July 1.