MAGGOTS will infest household rubbish as a result of a waste recycling strategy being implemented in Vale Royal next week, claims the area's Labour Group.
Opposition leaders are calling for a risk assessment after the Conservative and Liberal-Democrat controlled Vale Royal Borough Council revealed its plan aimed at increasing the amount of rubbish which is recycled.
Under the proposals, residents will be forced to separate their rubbish into two types, garden and household waste. Refuse collectors will pick up garden waste, along with other recyclables such as newspapers and bottles one week, and household rubbish the next.
The borough council says the scheme has been introduced after a survey revealed residents would be willing to recycle if given the opportunity to do it from their doorstep.
It believes the Kerbside Recycling Scheme will get people to think about the different types of rubbish they are disposing of.
But opposition councillors are convinced the fortnightly collection of different types of waste will mean black bin bags will pile up outside houses, while maggots and flies will infest garden waste bins.
Winsford councillor Don Beckett (Labour) feels so strongly about the issue he proposed a motion to the council that a risk assessment should take place before any changes are made, which was defeated at a vote.
He has written to John Jeffrey, the borough council's director of environment and sustainability, calling for a full risk assessment and a public consultation.
Cllr Beckett insisted: 'To leave rotting waste in bins for two weeks without a proper risk assessment is very unwise and a danger to everyone's health.'
Labour Group leader Cllr Brian Lloyd said: 'The administration has scored an own goal in linking the Kerbside Recycling Scheme to a reduction in the collection of normal household waste.
'Fortnightly collection of non-recyclable waste could present the majority of households in Vale Royal with a double whammy of overflowing rubbish and infestation.
'Even if the council doubled its current levels of recycling overnight, it still means that more than 80% of all waste would sit about uncollected for two weeks. Many families, even those with children out of nappies, will still need to resort to using black bin bags, which the council has said they will not remove.
'There exists a real danger of contamination of the green waste as families who have filled one bin move to another. There is also a major concern of pests and vermin. Maggots swarming in bins is a real likelihood in the summer months, which is a potential health hazard as well as being very unpleasant.
'We call on the council to think again before they damage the public reception of a good waste recycling policy by cutting what is an essential service.'
But the controlling Conservative and Lib-Dem administration said the scheme had been prepared following a public consultation and three years of painstaking research.
The scheme was prepared in response to new Government guidelines punishing councils which fail to improve the amount of recycling with heavy fines.
At the scheme's launch last week, the audience at Winsford Civic Hall was invited to say how it felt about it.
More than 88% of guests believed the council should be recycling more waste and increasing composting of garden waste and 97% thought the Kerbside Recycling Scheme would lead to a significant increase in recycling.
Cllr Malcolm Gaskill (Lib-Dem), Vale Royal's lead councillor for waste services, said: 'We have worked closely with all of the other local authorities in Cheshire to develop the Cheshire Household Waste Strategy.
'Two public consultations on the Cheshire Household Waste Strategy and several surveys have indicated that people are willing to recycle if they are provided with the facilities to recycle on their doorstep. A Government MORI poll recently highlighted that three out of four people would use a kerbside scheme.
'The public's support will be vital in ensuring that the scheme is a success and that costs are minimised.'
Cllr Mark Stocks (Conservative), lead councillor for environmental policy, said: 'The council is negotiating processing contracts which will positively impact on the local environment.
'From April all the paper collected under the new scheme will be sent to Shotton Paper Mill, where it will be pulped and cleaned in order to create newsprint for tomorrow's newspaper.
'The earth has limited resources and we cannot continue to landfill viable resources that could otherwise have been recycled.'