CALLS to reintroduce weekly bin collections as collection and processing of recycling is brought back in house by Blackburn with Darwen Council have been rubbished.

Tory group leader Cllr John Slater reiterated his belief that doing so would increase recycling rates and result in a more efficient service.

But environmental services boss, Cllr Jim Smith, told him it was not feasible.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is set to bring the contract for kerbside collection and processing of grey bins for recyclable waste back ‘in house’ in March.

It follows current operator Biffa refusing to extend its contract and the failure of a tender process to find a replacement contractor.

Cllr Smith said Biffa was losing money on the current contract and added many councils would find themselves in similar positions in the future because of changes to rules over shipping recyclable waste to China.

Cllr Slater said: “Since we have gone to fortnightly collections, the recycling rates have gone down because everything is contaminated.

“There are other options to look at.

“I deal with waste companies all the time. Why is it only us having this problem?”

Cllr Smith said: “The industry is very nervous at the moment because of the situation in China and the far east.

“We need the Government of this country to give guidance as to what they want us to do with recycling.

“The industry is cherry picking the very best contracts and ignoring the rest.

“We need sites to deal with processing recycling in this country.”

Cllr Andy Kay added: “I can’t believe Cllr Slater is bringing up this weekly collection rubbish.

“If you introduce double rounds  - one for waste and one for recycling - you’re doubling your costs.”

Council bosses intend to launch a separate tender for the reception, haulage and processing of recycling in the future.

The council will buy six new refuse wagons to take over the service for collecting items such as glass, cardboard, paper, cans, plastics, cardboard, textiles and waste electronic electrical equipment.

Earlier this year Biffa confirmed to council bosses they were not willing to extend their contract for the collection, haulage and processing of recyclable waste beyond the end of March.

The borough put the contract out to tender but none of the three initial expressions of interest produced a bid to run the service

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s waste and recycling programme board concluded the council must bring the recycling collection service in-house at the end of the contract and tender separately for the reception, haulage and processing of the items.

Now the council’s leader Cllr Mohammed Khan has approved capital spending for the purchase of six refuse collection vehicles.