YORK council bosses have dismissed calls by Communities Minister Eric Pickles for weekly “grey bin” rubbish collections to be resumed.

The Minister claimed people deserved a weekly bin collection service in return for their taxes, saying the Government wanted rid of “barmy” bin policies which made families’ lives hell.

But Darren Richardson, City of York Council’s director of city and environmental services, said York’s weekly collections had alternated between waste for landfill and recycling since 2006 and this system had made a significant contribution to its high recycling rates.

He said: “In the current financial climate, moving back to weekly collections of landfill waste while maintaining full kerbside recycling collections, is not a viable option and may lead to a reduction in recycling rates, thus an increase in landfill costs and certainly additional operational costs.”

The news came as it emerged that York’s three traveller sites currently receive weekly grey bin collections but no recycling collections.

Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters, who discovered the difference in service levels, called for weekly collections to be resumed for residents across the whole city, “in the interests of equality”.

A council spokeswoman said proposals to commence recycling collections on travellers’ sites were under way, which would replace one rubbish collection every fortnight.