HOUSEHOLDS in Blackburn with Darwen face a major rubbish collection shake-up.

They will get a new extra bin and revised refuse rounds as the borough bids to improve its poor record on reprocessing waste.

The council today announced its new regime which will see paper and cardboard split from plastic, glass and cans for the first time.

From the summer there will be two separate recycling rounds collected every four weeks instead of a single bin collected every fortnight.

In July the council will add a third blue wheelie bin for cardboard and paper and restrict its grey equivalent, currently used for all recyclable waste, to glass and plastic.

Households’ burgundy general rubbish bins will still be collected on alternate weeks.

Cllr Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said the £1.5million shake-up would improve recycling rates and save cash.

Collection days will remain the same. Homes where storing an extra bin is a problem will get special blue recycling bags instead.

Conservative environment spokesman Cllr Paul Marrow and his Liberal Democrat equivalent Cllr Roy Davies expressed concern over whether new regime would work.

Blackburn and Darwen has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country with just 30 per cent of the borough’s waste being reprocessed. The council has set a target to recycle half its waste by 2025.

The move comes as the town hall prepares takes over collecting household rubbish after no private firm bid to replace contractor Biffa whose 10-year deal runs out at the end of April.

It follows government guidance urging councils to ends the mixing of the two types of recyclable waste in a single bin and an £800,000 a year difference in the cost of reprocessing paper and card and glass, cans and bottles separately rather than together from a single bin.

Cllr Khan said: “We have one of the lowest recycling rates in the county and are one of a minority of councils to still have mixed recycling bins.

“This was the ideal time to make the move as we take rubbish collection in-house. It is a sensible move which saves money in the long run and fits with our new climate change strategy.

“It brings together the government guidance on recycling, investing to save in the long term and meets the council’s environmental objectives.”

Cllr Davies said: “It will work in some areas but not others. In well-off parts of the borough there will be no problem but in the terraced streets of my Darwen East ward and elsewhere in the borough, we’ll just end up with two contaminated bins full of unrecyclable rubbish instead of one grey one.”

Cllr Marrow said: “We support anything which improves recycling but I am concerned whether another bin will work in some of our terraced streets.

“Some families will also find that collecting recycling bins every four weeks instead of two will lead to them being full long before they are collected.”

The current grey mixed recycling bins means paper and card are often contaminated by unwashed items and broken glass preventing it being reprocessed and having to be sent to tips costing the council £100,000 a year in landfill taxes.

Tony Watson, the borough’s environment director, said: “We know that the vast majority of people in our borough want to recycle properly. We know it’s confusing and we want to make it as simple as possible.

“We want to help people in our efforts to protect the environment and ultimately give residents better value for money.”

The council recently appointed environmental education officer Sally Booth to working with schools and communities on promoting recycling and is buying six new refuse and recycling lorries.