Controversial monthly bin collections are being rolled out across a Welsh county on Monday – the first area in Wales and England to make the move.
Waste destined for landfill will now only be collected once a month in Conwy county following a trial.
It has been met with controversy, with residents and councillors calling it “unfair” and claiming the trial brought more rats, seagulls and flies.
The council said it could save £390,000 a year and concerns had been addressed.
It said food waste was collected weekly and it offered a free weekly collection service for nappies and incontinence products – to reduce the smell in residual waste bags.
Many parts of the UK are now moving towards bin collections every three weeks in a bid to cut down on residual waste and increase recycling.
Two councils in Scotland have made the move to bin collections every four weeks – Fife and Falkirk – and Belfast City Council has included the option as part of a consultation into the future of its waste and recycling.
In response, the cabinet put extra measures in place to help residents recycle, including free collection of large items, free nappy bins for grandparents who look after children and bespoke collections for people who miss having bin collections if they are on holiday.
Reports by council officials had previously suggested that four-weekly collections would increase the amount of rubbish that was recycled and also save the council up to £390,000 per year.
The drive for more recycling is being made across the country, with authorities facing fines if they fail to meet targets.
Last year it was announced that a target for 64% of waste to be recycled in Wales by 2019-20 had been met four years early.
On its website, Conwy council said: “We currently recycle 64% of our waste, which is really good, but we need to recycle 70% by 2024/25 to meet the Welsh Government’s targets. If these targets are not achieved the council may be fined.
“A year long trial of four weekly collections to 10,000 households has led to 14% increase in recycling and 31% decrease in the amount of refuse in the wheelie bins. These items are now being recycled into something new and the food waste is being used to make electricity. As a result of the trial, we are now rolling this out county-wide from September 2018.”