COUNCILS that collect rubbish fortnightly are recycling more waste than those collecting weekly, according to a survey.

The Local Government Association (LGA), a cross-party organisation representing councils in England, released the most recent recycling rate figures, showing that councils that collect every other week recycle about 30 per cent of refuse.

In weekly collection areas only 23 per cent was collected.

LGA chairman Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: "Councils are using many different techniques to make sure that as much rubbish is recycled to help the environment and keep tax down.

"With landfill taxes set to rise dramatically in the coming five years, there will be more and more pressure on councils to cut the amount of rubbish that gets thrown into landfill."

Coun David Wren, Swindon council's cabinet member for the environment, said: "If you collect it weekly it just encourages people not to recycle.

"Fortnightly collections not only save council taxpayers money but also help the bigger picture in trying to stop greenhouse gasses and global warming.

"Also, collecting weekly causes more congestion."

Mr Wren said that new wheelie bins being rolled out across Swindon in September will be airtight so smells cannot escape and animals cannot get in.

Shadow cabinet member for leisure, culture and planning, Maurice Fanning, wanted to stick with weekly landfill collections in Swindon.

"If you have got a wheelie bin full of domestic refuse sat there for a fortnight, it won't be nice and there'll be a terrible pong.

"I don't think it will discourage people from recycling.

"Landfill is a finite resource and eventually there won't be any more holes in the ground.

"When that happens we'll have to recycle everything!"

Swindon Lib Dem group leader Coun Stan Pajak said: "In an ideal world we would all like weekly collections but because of the costs I don't think it is possible.

"We all need to recycle more, and when the wheelie bins come in and are collected fortnightly it should help that."

Green Party chairman Bill Hughes said he sympathised with concerns about bins being left too long and thought waste could be reduced in other ways.

"There needs to be a change in manufacturing to reduce the amount of packaging, said Mr Hughes.

"If we had a full recycling service throughout the borough then the amount of landfill would already be reduced."

Steve Halden, chairman of UKIP Swindon, standing in Walcot, said he thought people could be encouraged to recycle more and still collect waste weekly.

"I think people prefer weekly collections. I think people are worried about the smell, maggots and rats.

"Everyone is in favour of more recycling, they just don't like the bad effects."