ALMOST every household in the borough is to receive a full complement of recycling bins in a bid to meet tough Government targets.

Another 14,000 homes will be sent boxes and bags to recycle glass, plastics and textiles from January 1, with a further 7,000 houses receiving them from April and 14,000 more from April 2006. Brown bins for garden waste will be sent to the remaining 7,000 households which have a garden but are not yet covered by the scheme.

Bury Council aims to expand its own sites to accept cardboard, paper, glass, cans and plastics. Bosses are also thinking about replacing the existing black boxes, which have attracted a lot of complaints, with blue wheelie bins.

They will also retain all current collections, both of the regular grey bins and the green bags of paper, although garden waste will be emptied once every four weeks from November to February.

The expansion will leave the council with a net loss of £1 million over the next five years, but officers say that Bury will make savings through paying less to dispose of its waste, and avoiding hefty Government fines.

The borough's target is to recycle 20 per cent of household waste by 2005/06 the latest rate is 14 per cent rising to 50 per cent by 2020.

Members at last weeks Bury Council executive said that bringing back the weekly collections of normal rubbish in pilot areas had had little effect on the recycling rate. There had been a recent dip, but this could be put down to the holiday period.

Labour councillor Wayne Campbell said: "We went back to the weekly collection because the public wanted it, but we have to say to them that we still require them to recycle."

Lib Dem councillor Tim Pickstone welcomed the expansion and the rethink about the black boxes, adding: "I'm also pleased that the council has listened to the electorate and kept the weekly grey bin collection. It is encouraging that the recycling rate hasn't gone down much, and shows that people are committed to recycling when it is an option, not when they are forced to."

He also raised concerns about the number and size of bins that people in smaller houses would have to cope with.