FINAL preparations are being made to roll out a controversial cut in bin collections across the Ilkley district, after a pilot scheme was declared a success.

A trial of the new fortnightly general waste collections is being run in the village of Wyke, where initial figures show recycling has jumped by more than 50 per cent, exceeding Bradford Council’s expectations.

The results were even described as “excellent news” by the opposition Conservatives, who had opposed the move to fortnightly rounds.

But Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen, the Tories’ spokesman on waste, said they still had concerns that it represented a 50 per cent cut in an important service and could lead to fly-tipping in some areas.

“The figures are very positive – any increase in recycling is excellent news, and when it rolls out across the rest of the district, I hope we would see similar increases overall,” she added.

“I think it will increase in some areas more than others. I feel there will be problem areas and fly-tipping in certain parts.”

Under the new system, green bins will be emptied one week and grey bins the next.

People are able to put all their recyclables into one bin and are also able to recycle more items, such as drinks cartons.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, who leads on waste collection at Labour-led Bradford Council, said she is delighted with the success of the pilot project, describing it as good news for both the environment and the council’s finances.

Cllr Ferriby, a ward councillor for Wyke, said: “Residents have really engaged with the new alternate weekly bin collections.

“We have had really positive comments and I have actually had residents from other parts of the district say to me ‘when are we starting?’.”

She said they had seen no increase in fly-tipping and discovered no major hitches during the pilot, so they will be replicating it when they start gradually introducing the changes from April.

Bradford Council had already decided to move to fortnightly general waste rounds. The trial in Wyke was designed to work out how best to introduce the change, as it was deemed to be an area with a representative mix of housing styles and recycling rates.

The pilot saw the amount of recycling collected increase by 52 per cent, and the amount of general waste cut by 27 per cent.

Cllr Martin Love, leader of the Green group on Bradford Council, said he wasn’t surprised by the “step-change” in recycling rates that fortnightly general bin rounds had sparked in Wyke.

He added: “It’s the reason we have so many local authorities that have gone towards alternate weekly collections. It’s disappointing it has taken Bradford so long to actually catch up with everybody else.”

Bradford is the last authority in West Yorkshire to switch from weekly to fortnightly general waste collections.

A handful of other authorities in the UK have now switched to three-weekly, or even four-weekly general waste rounds, as the cost of landfill tax has been on the rise.