RUBBISH collections in Torfaen could switch to once a month if new proposals get the go ahead.

Households in the borough could also see the number of rubbish bags collected by the council capped at four per month under an alternative plan.

Torfaen council is undertaking a review of its residual waste collections ahead of a public consultation.

From 2015/16, recycling targets in Wales will increase from 52 per cent to 58 per cent, with councils fined in the region of £100,000 for every 1 per cent they fall below the line.

Councils must reach recycling rates of 70 per cent by 2025.

Torfaen currently recycles 52 per cent of its waste, meaning that if its performance remains at current levels it will face an annual fine of £600,000.

The council is currently investigating three options designed to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

The options include maintaining a fortnightly collection with a smaller black wheelie bin, a fortnightly collection of two refuse bags per household, or moving to a monthly collection using the existing 240-litre black wheelie bin.

Allowances will be made for the collection of additional waste at Christmas and New Year and a dedicated collection for nappies and recycling collections will continue to operate as normal.

The executive member for neighbourhood services, cllr John Cunningham, said: “We have to make reductions in the amount of waste we are sending to landfill and although we have introduced collections for green waste, food and cardboard, recycling rates have only risen by around 9 per cent in the last five years.

“This is simply not enough and as well as improving our recycling services, as we have done recently with extended plastic collections, like other councils across Wales we are going to have to restrict the amount of residual waste we collect.”

The report will be the subject of a scrutiny committee on April 3.

The council will then carry out public consultation towards the end of April/beginning of May.