General waste bin collections in North Herts will only take place once every three weeks from 2025, North Herts Council has confirmed. 

The decision was signed off at an extraordinary meeting of the council’s cabinet, and the changes will also apply to East Herts Council because the two local authorities use a shared service and contract.

Food waste will continue to be collected every week, and recycling every two weeks. 

Cutting the frequency of general waste collections from once every two weeks to once every three weeks will reduce costs and carbon emissions. 

The council estimates that the less frequent service will reduce rising costs by around £270,000 per year, and carbon emissions by around 60 tonnes per year – the equivalent to driving more than 100,000 miles in an average car. 

Cllr Tom Tyson, deputy executive member for recycling and waste, added:  “A series of cross-party workshops with local councillors helped shape the new service along with the results from a recent survey in which residents were invited to tell us their recycling habits. 

“Thank you to everyone who took part – it was particularly encouraging to see 76 per cent of respondents say that they ‘care about the environment and climate change and do their bit’. 

“Nearly 80 per cent of respondents said their purple bin was substantially less than full after two weeks – some actually said theirs was empty! 

“Moving soft plastics into the recycling will free up a lot of space in your purple bin to accommodate the extra week … you can also recycle a number of items at some supermarkets and local drop-off points.” 

Cllr Amy Allen, executive member for recycling and waste, said: “An increasing number of councils in England and Wales are moving to three-weekly collections for general waste. 

“We know some households might need more support, producing more waste which cannot be recycled, such as those living in larger households, those with multiple children using disposable nappies, or people with other special waste needs, and we will have options in place to help them.”