PEOPLE will see big changes to their rubbish collections if a raft of measures is approved by councillors next week.

Mid Devon District Council's cabinet will vote on proposals which include charging residents £50 a year for garden waste collections.

The changes are being recommended by the authority's Environment Policy Development Group to improve recycling rates by 10%, reduce the amount of manual handling carried out by waste collectors and prevent the service becoming ‘unaffordable’, which could lead to cuts having to be made to other council services.

The proposals are: l Free recycling boxes, including one extra box per property of a different colour to permit greater separation.

- Remove card from garden waste and collect in black boxes at kerbside l Remove food from garden waste and collect in a caddy as kerbside recycling.

- Collect mixed plastics, excluding film, as kerbside recycling.

- Collect household refuse and recycling fortnightly from each premises.

- Bring in a £50 annual charge for a fortnightly garden waste collection to cover its £500,000 costs.

 - Re-use the brown wheeled bins for residual waste containers.

Bernard Endacott, of Silverton, who is membership secretary of the National Pensioners' Convention Devon, said: “It's a disgrace. There's £370billion being given to banks which are in financial crisis, but we end up getting a 'stealth tax' to pay for local waste collection.

“People who love gardening, particularly the elderly, will have to spend even more disposing of their rubbish from the garden as well as other rubbish.

“They can’t just drive down to their nearest tip or waste disposal area and drop it off – it's not fair. It's like a cash cow that they'll keep on milking.”

Cllr Clive Eginton, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The recommendations will be discussed by the cabinet on May 8 and then forwarded onto the full council who will make the final decision. The proposed options if approved will not become effective until October 2015.”

Somerset residents pay £30 for green waste collection.

In Cornwall it is £46.50.