Plastic waste from Swindon’s houses will continue to be collected from the kerbside and sent to recycling.

But the idea of asking householders instead to put plastic in their ordinary black bin or blue bag and sending it to Waterside Park to be turned into industrial fuel seems not quite to be off the table.

Swindon Borough Council’s Conservative cabinet agreed to proceed with a new waste strategy designed to increase recycling rates – waste wardens will be appointed to help residents recycle more, food waste collection may be introduced and those households which continue to put too much recyclable material in their ordinary bin face having no collection at all.

But the much-criticised proposal to temporarily stop trying to recycle plastic was dropped from the strategy.

Cabinet member for highways and environment Coun Maureen Penny said: “We have decided to wait to see what the government’s new plastics waste strategy is when it is published in spring.”

Labour group leader Coun Jim Grant said he welcomed the “change of heart.”

But Coun Penny said the administration hadn’t had a change of heart, and would reconsider its options after the government’s strategy.

When Coun Grant pressed to ask whether that meant the proposal to send plastic waste to be made into fuel might come back, leader of the council David Renard said: “I think the question’s been answered. We’ll look again when we know what the strategy is.”

Coun Dale Heenan, the cabinet member for the town centre referred to reports that DEFRA might be looking at increasing costs for the manufacturers who use plastics and said: “It might be that the strategy moves the costs of recycling plastic away from councils and puts them all on the manufacturers of plastics. That would be a real game changer.”