FIFE COUNCIL is to look into ditching charges for bulky uplifts – but been warned not to mirror errors made by Homer Simpson.

The proposals to ditch the fees is being looked at as the local authority considers ways of helping householders with the cost-of-living crisis.

However, Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor David Barratt warned that that the move was not with without risks.

"I am reminded of an episode of the Simpsons, The Trash of the Titans, the 200th episode, where Homer Simpson became Springfield's sanitation inspector," he told members of Fife Council's executive committee at their meeting on Thursday.

"Significant promises were made that were costly in relation to waste uplift in Springfield. The changes were very popular but the increased costs came back to bite.

"There are significant risks in terms of budgeting and recycling rates. I’ve no doubt the changes would be popular and there are significant benefits. My hope is we can make it sustainable.

"I look to a report coming back with more detail and not be another episode of The Simpsons."

Councillors were asked to agree to recommendations that would see the removal of the charge – currently £15 or £30 – for bulky uplifts from April next year subject to the consideration of additional resources being funded through the budget process.

They were also asked to note that a review of the current criteria for the bulky uplift service will be before April to assess recycling and landfill implications and qualifying criteria for uplifting goods before any proposed changes to the current policy will be brought to Cabinet for approval.

Fife Council's senior manager, environment and building services, John Rodigan, said the measure was being looked at to help householders.

"There are currently approximately 13,500 bulky uplift collections per year across Fife," he said. "Concerns are growing that the current cost-of-living crisis will see some residents unable to pay for the uplift of bulky items they cannot dispose of in their domestic waste bins.

"The removal of bulky uplift charges will support residents with financial challenges and help them to dispose of their waste in a responsible manner."

SNP councillor Ross Vettraino expressed his concern over the plans.

"It is well known the provision of free bulky uplift provides many challenges," he said. "I am surprised therefore that the thread which recommends a free service is silent on this these challenges.

"The recommendation has commented on the necessary budget being made available. The report doesn't say what the budget requirement will be. How therefore will council know how much budget it will need?

"It is not, however, just cost. There is the effect it will have on Fife's recycling profile. A free bulky uplift service will provide those who choose not to recycle with a convenient way of not doing so.

"All the waste collected just goes to landfill which means it is not recycled. It doesn't sit well with the council's declaration of climate emergency."

Mr Rodigan said the operation model would see recycling maximised and landfill minimised. He also said they would look at reusing items previously dumped, such as sofas and arm chairs.

"These items will not go in landfill," he added. "We will pick up with vans and look for as many homes as possible so some life can be brought back to them and they can be recycled."