WEALTHY councillors proposing fortnightly rubbish collections across the county do not realise what the change will mean in the “real world”.

That is the belief of John Newman, a former councillor who lives on Hereford’s Newton Farm estate, one of the most densely populated areas of the county.

Herefordshire Council could sign off fortnightly collections as soon as this month with a start date for the new timetable beginning in November.

But Mr Newman, a Hereford City and Herefordshire councillor for 30 years, fears rubbish dumping and related vermin infestation will rise within weeks of the new rounds starting.

“It’s all right for them, living in their posh houses out in the sticks but Newton Farm, and other areas like this, are congested,” he said.

“All you are going to see once the collections become fortnightly is rubbish being dumped all over the place and an increase in rats and other vermin – I think it’s awful and it will cause major problems for big families.

“At the moment people are putting out maybe two bags each week, over two weeks these two become four or five and that’s when the problems begin.”

Richard Johnston, the chairman of the Newton Farm Community Association, said if collections become fortnightly a better alternative to black bags must be offered.

“Black bags aren’t good enough – they will be ripped open by animals and this will lead to an infestation of rats and bacteria,” he added.

“The council will need to put money into supplying large, secure bins that can hold all the bags.”

Currently, black bags containing household waste are collected every week in the county while recycling is collected every two weeks.

The new service, provided for in the council’s 2014- 15 budget plan, would see both recycling and household waste collected every two weeks.

In a statement, the council defended fortnightly collections as part of its cuts plan, saying a majority of councils in England have adopted alternate weekly collections.

Responding to questions for an alternative to black bags, Kerry Thomson, a council press officer, added: “We are keen to promote waste minimisation and consequently provide a subsidised home composter scheme which is very popular.

“A lot of food waste can be put into home composters which means useful garden compost is produced and there is no need for more refuse vehicles to pick up this material to take it to a processing plant along with the associated costs.

“Consequently, we have no plans at the present time to bring in a food waste collection service in Herefordshire.”