Residents across the Burnham-On-Sea area could see rubbish collections being made every three weeks next year if controversial new proposals are approved.

The six councils which make up the Somerset Waste Partnership will consider in the next two months whether to reduce the frequency of residual waste collections across the region to once every three weeks.

Trials took place within Taunton Deane in late 2014 which saw over 1,000 households have the collection of ‘black bag’ waste reduced from fortnightly to three-weekly, retaining a weekly recycling and food waste service.

According to the Partnership, the trial found that less than 2% of households in the three-weekly scheme put out extra black bags alongside their refuse bins. The tranche saw the most positive results, with food waste collections up 45% and other dry recyclables up 28%. The amount of residual waste collected fell by 27%

The trials were described by the Partnership as having achieved “significant success.”

The Partnership, which manages recycling and waste services for Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and West Somerset district councils, Taunton Deane borough council and Somerset County Council, has announced that its members will consider changes to the county-wide service.

Spokesman Nick Cater told “Nothing firm has yet been agreed but the decision must be made in the next two months in time to order replacements for the ageing fleet of recycling vehicles. Changes, if agreed, would be introduced in stages over at least two years.”

He went on to say that it’s unlikely Sedgemoor would be in the first stage, so 2017 would be the earliest that the three-week collections would start, if they are approved.

Any changes to reduce collection frequency for residual waste would also see councils increase the material collected at the kerbside, with plastic pots, tubs and trays, drink cartons, small electrical goods and household batteries to be collected at the kerbside.