BURY will "stink" in the summer as a result of the controversial three-weekly bin collections, a Government minister has said.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said Bury Council was punishing residents "like naughty children" for not recycling enough and praised authorities that run weekly collections.

He said: "There are many fine councils in this country with weekly collections that have managed to increase their recycling.

"It seems to me that the most important thing is to treat your residents with respect and not to treat them like naughty children by taking away their privileges because they're not recycling enough."

However, the council's waste management manager Glen Stewart said: "We're very confident that this change in the residual waste bin collection frequency will force people into thinking about how they manage their waste more effectively.

"If they put the right stuff in the right bin, using the full complement of recycling bins that we offer, people will be able to manage with the new service."

New figures show the change will start to earn taxpayers a profit in six months.

Bury Council bosses have revealed it cost them £458,100 to bring in the new system.

Of that, £213,400 went on new bins and caddies, £189,700 went on information packs, delivering extra bins, missed bin collections and extra staff at the contact centre to answer residents' queries, while £55,000 went on leaflet distribution costs.

At a full council meeting on October 22, the council's environment representative, Cllr Tony Isherwood, said: "While the implementation costs appear to be substantial, the savings on payments for waste disposal from the increased recycling, which we expect to achieve are estimated to be £890,000 per annum, given a pay-back period of just six months."

In the last three years, Bury’s recycling rate has risen from 29.4 per cent to 47.6 per cent and the council aims to increase it to 60 per cent by March 2016.

At the meeting, Conservative councillors voiced their scepticism over whether this could be achieved with collections every three weeks.

They advocated waste collection every fortnight, as Tory-run councillors in Stockport and Trafford do.

Bury Council’s deputy leader Rishi Shori said that, while Bury's binmen call less often, they remove more waste than their Trafford and Stockport counterparts whose bins are smaller.