THE Labour group at Dacorum Borough Council has called for the return of weekly bin collections.
Councillor Keith White points to countries on the continent where weekly collections are the norm and recycling rates are higher than the UK.
“Why is it they can do it and we can’t?” he said.
“We have always said that as far as possible bin collections should be weekly. The argument that it stops people recycling I don’t think is true.
“We need to gear ourselves up for those environmental things and think outside the box. Perhaps give people smaller bins, collect more frequently, but you can only throw away less because your bin is smaller.”
Mr White has spoken out after the Conservative-controlled council gave the cold shoulder to a government scheme to help local authorities reintroduce weekly collections.
Under the project £250 million has been set aside for councils signing up to weekly collections for a five-year period.
But the borough council says weekly collections would cost up to £800,000 more a year and risk a drop in its recycling rate of nearly 50 per cent.
Environmental campaigner Christine Hillier said: “From a health point of view, a weekly collection would certainly be more viable.
“Naturally the more regularly rubbish bags are collected, the less chance there is of rats, mice, flies and foxes scurrying around people’s houses.
“The idea that weekly collections will somehow make people recycle less, I just don’t see the logic behind that.”
However, the Liberal Democrats at County Hall have backed fortnightly collections.
Chris White, leader of the Lib Dem group at Herts County Council, said: “I’ve had to deal with maggots under both weekly and fortnightly systems. And at least with wheelie bins you don’t get the rat infestations caused by leaving sacks on the pavement all night.
“There are downsides to fortnightly collections but to blow a quarter of a billion pounds on what is to most people a minor irritant is the height of irresponsibility.
“Worse still, it will send a message to many householders that recycling is not so important after all.”