Black bin collections in South Gloucestershire could be cut to once every three or four weeks from 2025.
The move could cut costs and carbon emissions while encouraging residents to recycle more and throw away less rubbish into general waste.
The district is now recycling 60% of its waste, new figures reveal, with new plans underway to increase that figure further.
The recycling rate is one of the highest in England, but the new target is to reach 70% by the end of the decade.
South Gloucestershire Council currently has a 25-year contract for waste collection with Suez, but this comes to an end in July 2025.
The council is beginning to explore what bin collections will look like after the contract ends, including collecting black bins less often - and do stress the current plan is to stick with a two-weekly collection.
Keirsten Wilson, project manager at the council, said: “At the moment the intention is to stay with the current regime and timescale of black bin collections.
“The rationale for leaving it on the table for consideration in the future, and that could be quite far in the future, is the direction of travel of central government and the targets that are being set. "But we’re not suggesting that at this time to change from the current two-weekly residual collections.”
Councillor Rachael Hunt, cabinet member for communities, said: “Reaching a recycling rate of 60% is a significant milestone on our journey to recycle and reuse more of our waste.
"This fantastic result puts us well ahead of the national average, and is testament to the commitment and effort that our residents put into recycling their waste.
“It’s also thanks to our ambitious changes to waste and recycling collections, which are delivering results.
"We’re well on our way to hit our 70% recycling target with nothing going to landfill by 2030, and it’s fantastic to see how our residents have embraced changes to collections for the good of the environment.”
Across the country, 15% of councils are considering switching to a four-weekly collection, according to cabinet papers, and the switch could save South Gloucestershire £800,000 a year.
A four-weekly collection could prove more challenging than three-weekly, as residents would have much less space for their rubbish, but it could also mean a simpler collection schedule.
No formal plans have been agreed yet and the council would consult the public before any changes are made.
It is understood that the switch would not affect recycling or food waste, but could cut down on fuel costs and carbon emissions as bin lorries would spend much less time driving around the district.
Rather than going to a landfill, most black bin rubbish in South Gloucestershire gets sent to an incinerator where it’s burned to create energy.
The council thanked residents for playing their part in driving up recycling rates.
Credit: Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporter