SCOTTISH Borders Council chiefs have refused to rule out moving kerbside waste collections from once a fortnight to once every three weeks.

The local authority is currently reviewing its waste collection service, which is expected to feed into the new budget for 2019/20.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council on Thursday 25 October, Hawick and Hermitage councillor David Paterson expressed his concern around the bin collections: “Could you please tell me if this administration has any plans to change the general waste collection from every two weeks to every three weeks?

“I feel that if such a move was ever introduced to save money, I am certain this would cause real hardship to many families in the Scottish Borders and create an even bigger problem with fly tipping.”

Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, the authority’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “The council is currently undertaking a review of its kerbside collection service, with the support of Zero Waste Scotland, by comparing how these services have been delivered by other authorities across Scotland.

“No decision will be taken with regards to changes, including the frequency of general waste collection, until this review is complete, and the potential implications are fully understood.

“Officers will be bringing a report to council shortly as part of that budget setting process.”

Speaking after the meeting, councillor Paterson expressed his dismay at the answer he received: “That doesn’t fill me with confidence. I’m more worried than I was before.

“The reason that I put in the question is that I am certain that a three-weekly collection for general waste was something that this admin will have to be looking at.

“If they go to a three-weekly collection it would cause some very serious problems for many of the people that we represent and I am sure it would increase the incidents of fly tipping.

“As I said, I was a wee bit concerned when I put the question in, but when I got the reply I was even more concerned that this admin are looking at a three-weekly collection for general waste.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “A review of the council’s kerbside collection service has been undertaken with the support of Zero Waste Scotland, beginning in 2016 and concluding late summer 2018.

“The review was undertaken to consider a number of aspects of the service and to ensure waste services remain fit for purpose, financially sustainable and continues to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.”