RESIDENTS of Poole will lose their weekly rubbish collections from autumn 2016 after the council agreed to introduce a fortnightly service.

Borough of Poole accepted the change which will tie in with the two-weekly recycling and garden waste collections.

The council needs to make savings of between £18m and £20m over the next four years due to cuts in government funding and increased demand for services. This will contribute a saving of up to £633,000 per year by 2018/19.

Poole will join two-thirds of local authorities which now operate two-weekly collections which research shows encourages higher recycling rates and reduces the amount of waste sent to expensive treatment facilities.

Cllr John Rampton, cabinet portfolio holder for environment and consumer protection, said: "The decision to change to alternate weekly collections was made following robust and detailed research into the available options for Poole, some of which was undertaken by members from different political parties as part of a working group.

"The council continues to look for ways to help make efficiencies to plug the gap in our budget while safeguarding core services for residents. Changing to alternate weekly collections helps safeguard the service for the future as well as presenting the borough with an opportunity to offer further environmental benefits."

Residents will continue to use their 240 litre blue bin and 180 litre black bin. A new exceptions policy will provide additional capacity for those with medical needs, with six or more permanent residents, five residents with one child in nappies, or with three or more children in nappies.

When introduced next year the only days there will be no collection will be Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, rather than the whole week, and there will be weekend working to catch up so no-one will miss a collection.

Shaun Robson, head of environment and consumer protection services, said they would now concentrate on changes to cause "the least amount of inconvenience to our residents".

He added: "While there may be a period of adjustment once the scheme is introduced, we want to assure residents that they will continue to receive a high standard, efficient and effective waste and recycling collection service and we are confident we can deliver this."