TENTATIVE talks have got underway to see if one massive rubbish and recycling collection service can be launched for the whole of Worcestershire.

It has emerged that an investigation has now kicked off to see if there is any appetite for cash-strapped councils to team up and pool costs.

At the moment all six district councils have their own vehicles, staff and collection arrangements costing the county's taxpayers more than £10 million.

The idea of pooling costs was first raised by Worcestershire County Council's Liberal Democrat and Green parties back in January, when a motion was overwhelmingly backed calling for a review.

At the start of July a panel of councillors came together to kick it off, and from that a range of visits are now being planned to some of the best-performing town halls in the country to see if any ideas are worth taking away.

Because all the districts operate separate pick-ups in Worcestershire it has led to wildly different levels of service with recycling rates also varying hugely.

Councillor Ken Pollock said: "We are very aware the districts regard waste collection as a principle function, no matter how onerous it is.

"But there could be opportunities to pool costs by making management savings, for example.

"At this point it's about looking at the degree the districts might want to work together."