A 3,318-signature petition opposing plans to switch Bury’s grey bin collections from fortnightly to every three weeks means the controversial issue is set to be debated at a full council meeting.

The action has been taken because the number of names, gathered online by Radcliffe man Daniel Barkess, exceeded the 2,500 signatures required to trigger a debate at the meeting.

Last month, the council’s overview and scrutiny committee, which discussed the planned changes to bin collections, decided not to refer the matter back to the cabinet or the next full council meeting.

Councillors voted not to offer any comments which, in effect, meant that the earlier decision to go ahead with the plans stood.

Under council plans to create a “zero waste” borough, grey bins which cater for non-recyclable household waste, will be emptied every three weeks, instead of fortnightly, starting in October.

But green and blue recycling bins will be emptied once every three weeks instead of four, while brown bins will continue to be collected once every two weeks.

The council says the changes will boost recycling rates and achieve annual savings of £862,000 in waste treatment and disposal costs.

Now, Mr Barkess has received a letter from council officers disclosing that his petition contains sufficient names for a debate on the issue at Bury Council’s next full meeting on September 10.

The letter stated: “Under the petitions procedure, the petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition and then discussion amongst members takes place for a maximum of 15 minutes.

“The council has to decide how to respond to the petition which in this case could be: confirm decision already made, refer the matter back for further consideration, refer the matter for further investigation which could include referring to Scrutiny.”

Last month, Mr Barkess, aged 27, of North Street, submitted his online “say no to three week bin emptying” petition to Bury Town Hall.

He said the decision to empty grey bins every three weeks instead of fortnightly was a “disgrace” and claims it will lead to an increase in vermin and disease.

Commenting on the letter from the council, he said: “I will go along to the next full council meeting. I’m glad this is to be debated. I’m unsure if it will actually achieve anything, but I’m hopeful it will.”