COUNCIL bosses hope a new waste contract worth £7million will increase the amount of rubbish that gets recycled in Wycombe and Chiltern.

A new seven year joint venture between Wycombe and Chiltern District Councils will save a combined £1.2million for both authorities and will increase the amount of recyclable rubbish that is collected from homes.

Councillors hope the new deal with contractor Serco will lead to an increase in recycling rates across the two districts.

Peter Martin, Chiltern District Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste, said: "There will be an opportunity for residents to recycle a number of extra items. We have a very clear target to increase our recycling rates from the current level up to 60 per cent by 2015.

"I happen to think we can probably go beyond that. Residents have indicated in the past they are keen to recycle."

Jean Teesdale of Wycombe District Council said: "We are working together and saving money, and actually giving a better system to the one we had before. People will be able to recycle so much more. People have been crying out for this for a very long time."

Under the terms of the new contract food waste will be collected weekly, while additional collections for the rubbish and recycling bins will alternate each week.

In the Chiltern district residents will now be able to recycle cans and more types of plastic, with a fortnightly glass collection replacing the current system where glass is collected every four weeks. In Wycombe residents will be able to recycle glass, textiles and batteries.

The changes are due to come into effect in Chiltern in the summer before being rolled out to Wycombe residents in the autumn.

Concerns have been raised by some residents that wheely bins will not be suitable in certain areas but Cllr Martin said solutions will be found.

He said: "We will make sure the solution is appropriate and not just foist a bin or container on people who can't manage it. We'll be sensitive and handle these situation sensibly.

"It's been a major project, a lot of time and effort has gone into it and we hope to deliver the best possible service."

Roadshows will be held across both districts to give more information to residents, including letting people know what types of rubbish can now be recycled.

In Wycombe the current recycling rate in 40 per cent while in Chiltern it is 47 per cent.

From Monday March 4, when the new contract takes effect, Wycombe District residents’ enquiries for waste management will be handled by Chiltern District Council Customer Services as part of the new joint working arrangement. The number is 01494 586550.