Wiltshire Council has not ruled out major changes to its waste and recycling collection services after a government proposal.

The government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently announced plans to bring in a law this year to simplify recycling collection across the country.

This will allow all dry recycling to be collected in one container or bin, and food waste and garden waste in another.

Currently, Wiltshire residents are expected to separate paper, cardboard, plastics metals and cartons into their blue-lidded bins, and glass bottles and jars into their black boxes.

The council says it remains unclear how the new proposals will affect its services.

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Cllr Dominic Muns, cabinet member for waste, said: “DEFRA has said it will provide exemptions to allow for the collection of all dry recyclables together in one container, and food and garden waste together in another container.

“DEFRA has confirmed that it is aiming to introduce regulations on these changes before the government summer recess, with statutory guidance to follow.

“We had no advance notice of an update being made on this policy and until we have more information, we are unable to confirm if and how this may influence how our waste and recycling collection services are delivered locally in the future.”

Cllr Muns says the council will continue to encourage residents to recycle. 

He added: “In the meantime, we’ll continue to ensure we are giving people the best opportunities to recycle as much as possible.

“Our Recycling: Let’s Sort It campaign has proven to be a successful and effective way to get our waste minimisation and recycling messages and aims across, and we’ll continue to use creative ways to engage with people.

“We know that most households want to do their bit and recycle as much as they can, and we appreciate their efforts and support with this.”

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DEFRA says it will make recommendations about how it thinks authorities should collect recycling, and hopes the proposal will “reduce confusion".

A spokesperson said: “Councils will be allowed to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper and card in one bin in all circumstances.

“Similarly, food and garden waste will also be allowed to be co-collected.

“This will reduce confusion over what items can be recycled, as people will no longer have to check what their specific council will accept for recycling.

“It will also reduce complexity for councils and other waste collectors, ensuring they retain the flexibility to collect recyclable waste in the most appropriate way for their local areas.”