Scientists have claimed that switching from fortnightly to weekly collections of recycling bins could improve rates.

The Southampton-based researchers claim that rates could be boosted by 9 per cent in areas which use the alternate weekly collection (AWC) systems.

A study, conducted in the areas of Lichfield and Staffordshire, found that an AWC system not only boosted recycling rates, but also saved money on the cost of collecting the recycling.

The researchers also claimed that there were “no obvious adverse impacts” from cutting down recycling frequency.

However, critics have slammed the move, saying that there is “clear anecdotal evidence” that the decrease in collections leads to more pests.

Doretta Cocks, who started campaigning for weekly waste collections in 2004, told “Many people contact me about fortnightly bin collections – it affects their quality of life.”

She continued: “I hear horror stories – people get hundred of maggots in their bins, they get carpets of maggots on their driveways and pavements.”

The findings come just a month after the government awarded Southampton City Council £8 million to secure it’s weekly bin arrangements. 

Professor Ian Williams, who works at Southampton University’s Centre for Environmental Sciences, says the results will be “embarrassing” for the government, as AWC collections could actually save costs.

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