CRITICS of Monmouthshire County Council's proposals for changes in the way that refuse is collected, fear that fly-tipping of domestic refuse and green waste could be on the increase when the authority's new collection schemes come into force on July 1.

From this date Monmouthshire residents will only be able to put out two silver-coloured bags of rubbish instead of black bags as part of the authority's fortnightly kerbside collection.

The current purple and red recycling bags will continue to be collected weekly.

Additionally council taxpayers will have to pay £8 a year for a green waste bag to enable garden waste to be taken away by the authority.

These moves have been made by Monmouthshire County Council as part of the authority's measures to save £600,000 a year and prevent a large amount of potentially recyclable material going to landfill.

However in a heated debate at Monmouth's Shire Hall Roger Hoggins, the authority's head of infrastructure and sustainability assured members of the Strong Communities Select Committee that any incidents of fly-tipping would be monitored.

"We have no intention of going down the enforcement route. The best way to deal with the issue is education and in doing so encourage people to use the Civic Amenity Sites rather than dumping rubbish.

"If the fly-tipping continues after this we will start door knocking in the area to find the culprits."

The councillors also warned that the 52 sacks supplied to each household could be used before the year is up, leading to more fly-tipping.

Councillor Roger Harris said, "A small minority of people are not going to comply in any way whatsoever in whatever action we undertake especially as there is no enforcement policy.

"However, we need to do something as we are currently spending £3m on landfill. If we can reduce this amount it can only be good for the council."

Mr Hoggins added: "Because of the value of waste we are now talking about our recycling materials as a commodity. We are trying hard to limit the amount of waste that cannot be recycled and goes to landfill."

Green garden waste and food waste, which is collected at the kerbside, used to be taken to the Wormtech facility in Caerwent but when the Environment Agency Wales suspended the company's permit in July last year, when E-coli and salmonella were detected in leachate found leaking through the wall of its composting facility, the council diverted its material to the Invessel Composter run by Viridor in Somerset.

The Monmouthshire council also has a back-up facility available in Devon, which is managed by the TEG Group Plc.

Garden waste collected at the council run civic amenity sites is taken to the open composter in Somerset, which is run by Viridor. Dry recycling collected at the kerbside is taken to the Aldridge Material Recycling Facility run by Biffa in a former steel foundry in the West Midlands.

Nappies and other sensitive waste are transported to the UK's first absorbent hygiene products recycling plant, Knowaste Ltd, which is based in West Bromwich.

This process sterilises the materials and sorts and separates the wastes to recover highly valuable plastic and fibre materials for re-use in new products.