PROPOSALS to cut how often black bags are collected have been approved by a Pembrokeshire County Council committee as part of a review of waste services.

The council’s Policy and Pre-decision Scrutiny Committee have added their recommendation to plans to reduce black bag collection to every three weeks and to restrict the numbers of bags available to each household.

The plans will next be discussed by Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet on November 6, before the public are given the chance to voice their opinion as part of a consultation.

Though the proposals were given support “in principle”, committee members stressed the need to give more black bags to larger families, and agreed that the collection of absorbent hygiene products like nappies would be kept as a separate service that ran every two weeks.

Members also approved a new “weekly kerbside recycling collection and sorting service with the aim of expanding the range of materials collected”, and agreed that an implementation plan was needed to make sure residents understood the full scope of changes.

Councillor Michelle Bateman said the council needed to make sure residents were well-informed of the changes to make sure they understood why they were being made.

“A lot of people still think that orange bags go to the landfill anyway. I have concerns about the consultation because I think if people do not understand the issue they are going to be angry,” she said.

“It is our responsibility as councillors to pass that information along.”

Richard Brown, PCC’s Head of Environmental services stressed that the new services would not impact on council tax in any way, as most of the waste management budget came from revenue from recyclable materials and Welsh Government funding.

“Only 14 per cent of funding we get from waste services comes from council tax.”

Russell Owens, the head of Welsh Government’s collaborative change program, told the committee that all councils in Wales need to meet targets to recycle 70 per cent of all waste it collects by 2024.

The new waste service proposals were based on a blueprint which Welsh Government deemed as the most likely to meet the 70 per cent target.

Cllr Joshua Beynon asked the Welsh Government officer to confirm if the council would be hit with fines if they could not meet the target.

“That is a matter for ministers not civil servants. The current minister came very close to applying financial penalties last time around,” said Mr Owens.

Though Pembrokeshire County Council recycles more waste than the current target of 58 per cent, the amount of waste recycled in the county has recorded a slight decline since Welsh Government’s recent changes to the quality of wood which could be re-used.