Councillors will decide, at a meeting on Tuesday (June 16), whether to provide two wheelie bins to properties that can cater for them - one for refuse and the other for all recyclables - as well as moving to an alternate weekly collection system where each of these bins is collected a week at a time.
The initial cost of the wheelie bins will be £3.5m for the whole borough, but the council claims they will then make a net saving of more than £1.7m per year starting from the first year, as they say it will be cheaper to collect and get rid of the waste.
Council leader Julian Bell said the big picture is a global one, and the changes in Ealing would be implemented late next spring if agreed.
He said: “We need to make recycling easier and increase it in order to protect the environment and work towards the EU directive that the country has a recycling rate of 50% by 2020.
“In Ealing, we are at 45% and are committed to reaching 50% by 2018.
“We spent £10m in landfill taxes in the last financial year throwing away waste.”
However Greg Stafford, Conservative leader in the borough, argues this is not about increasing recycling levels.
He said: “Labour’s target for recycling next year is the same as this year.
"This isn’t about saving money. This is about Labour trying to salvage something from a badly mismanaged contract to reduce costs to the contractor so they don’t walk away from the contract.
“Once again the Labour council is riding roughshod over the wishes of the residents if Ealing. At the very least they should have asked residents whether they wanted wheelie bins, as we did when we were last in power [the majority rejected wheelie bins].
“The residents of Ealing will see no benefit. Their council tax will remain high, they will still be charged for garden waste and they will get a worse service.
"One of the most basic requirements of a council is to collect the rubbish - by going to fortnightly collections they have even failed in this.”
Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said by introducing wheelie bins, people will find recycling easier as they would put everything recyclable into one bin.
He said: “It’s a record we have reached (45%). If we want to get to 50% we have to do something significant.
“Two thirds of our black bag waste is recyclable and a third is food waste which is astonishing and morally wrong.
“Brent has increased its recycling in one year by 12% by introducing this. About 70% of local residents in the country already have a similar system.”
Gary Malcolm, leader of the local Liberal Democrats, said: “There’s an issue of legality as to whether the council needs to consult. If there is a legal issue it means the council will have to spend £3m on getting wheelie bins and then have to get rid of them.
“In the 2014 local elections, the three [main] political parties stood and were against wheelie bins. There needs to be a consultation like there was seven years ago.
“Councillors have buried their heads in the sand about the negatives. I handed in a petition two months ago with 600 names and now it’s 850.
“Some houses can’t host wheelie bins.”
Mr Mahfouz said there is no precedent that says you have to consult on these changes. He added: “In terms of aesthetics, there’s ways of getting around it - some people have hedges or brick walls the bins can go behind.
“At the moment rubbish is strewn everywhere and we are having to pick that up. Having rubbish strewn across your street also looks terrible.
“People who do not have a front garden won’t be able to have them. We will be going round assessing properties door-to-door and everyone will get number stickers for their bins.”
Mr Mahfouz said they haven’t consulted with residents as they know this is something that works and there was big support behind Labour’s manifesto at the last local election which stated they would increase their recycling to 50%. He says the new plans are the way to achieve that.
He argued the lorries will change and there will be fewer vehicles on the road than before.
Mr Bell said in 2010 they said they would not move to alternate weekly collections but they did not make the same promise this time.
Wheelie bins were rolled out in Southall in 2008.
The majority of properties in other areas of the borough now have black bags for waste, a green box for dry recyclables, a white bag for plastics and a fourth container for food waste.
The council will be issuing information to people on the changes through their website, social media and the press.