RESIDENTS should be braced for fortnightly waste collections becoming the norm if food waste trials continue to be so successful.

Colchester Council has begun trialling the fortnightly collection of black bin bags in 7,100 homes, which are already part of the borough’s food waste pilot.

The move follows more than 80 per cent of residents in Tiptree, Mile End, Greenstead, Fingringhoe, Abberton and Stanway taking up the trial, which began in November.

So far 190 tonnes of food waste has been recycled.

Martin Hunt, councillor responsible for waste, said fortnightly collections for waste in black sacks could be rolled out across the borough.

He added: “There is a case for moving to fortnightly collections because, if you are recycling everything which can be recycled, then there should be very little left to put in black sacks.

“What are people putting in their black sacks if they are recycling?

“At the end of the day, though, until the end of the trial, it is hard to say.”

Mr Hunt said the money saved from moving to fortnightly collections is roughly the same amount which is spent on providing homes with food caddies and collecting them.

But residents fear the move could lead to a health and safety hazard, saying two-week old waste is likely to attract vermin and also leave streets looking a mess.

One of the residents concerned about the scheme is Val Best, 69, of Ivor Brown Court, High Woods, Colchester, who said: “It seems like a move towards less service for the same amount of money.

“The idea seems great for people who actually do recycle, but some people do and some people don’t.

“There will be so many people whose rubbish will just mount up. How are we meant to cope if that happens?”