A petition launched to prevent the introduction of four-weekly bin collections in Fife has attracted thousands of signatures before the proposal has even been put forward.
The online documentaimed at Fife Council is in reaction to suggestions trials of the scheme have been so successful it could be rolled out across Fife.
The local authority insists no decision has been made.
Around 4,000 households are participating in two trials, with Thornton and Stenton residents having their blue landfill bins collected every four weeks instead of every fortnight, and the green bins for recycling plastics and cans collected every fortnight instead of every four weeks.
At the same time, blue and green bins are being emptied every three weeks in Markinch and Coaltown of Balgonie.
Officials feel the results have been positive, prompting speculation that four-weekly bin collections could soon be in the pipeline.
Those behind the petition claim any introduction of four-weekly collections, which would make Fife Council the first local authority in the UK to do so, would increase flytipping and the presence of vermin.
Councillor John Wincott, Fife Council’s sustainability champion, stressed that nothing has been ruled in or out and questioned the need for the petition at this stage.
He said: “We’re analysing the waste week by week and what I’d say to people is: ‘Let’s see how the trial goes’.
“We’re trialling it, we’ll be talking to people in the trial area and there’s no need to sign a petition because there’s nothing decided yet.
“We are, of course, very interested in the views of local people, especially those in the trial areas.
“This is why we are set to carry out a face-to-face and extensive online survey in April that will give residents in the trial areas the opportunity to have their say.”
Both of the bin collection trials have seen an increase in recycling and a decrease in the waste sent to landfill.
Petitioners also argue it is a cost cutting measure, something Mr Wincott is not shying away from.
He said: “People have said it’s not about recycling more it’s about saving money, but it’s about both.
“I’ll never deny it’s about saving money because we could save up to £1 million a year from 2020.”
Landfill costs Fife Council £10m a year and, while the four bin system has been a success to date, rising waste disposal charges could cost the local authority dearly if recycling rates do not increase.
The council has also pointed out that households producing medical waste, with children in nappies, or larger families can request bigger blue bins, or in the Thornton and Stenton area more frequent collections.