Tens of thousands a household bins were not emptied on time in Allerdale in just seven weeks under a new £25 million refuse contract, it has emerged.

There has been widespread concern about the effectiveness of refuse and recycling collections in the borough since the eight-year contract came into effect in April, with many people taking to social media to vent their frustration.

Now it has been revealed that, between April 15 and 30, contractors were due to make 227,949 visits to properties to empty bins. Of these visits, 28,183 were not made on the scheduled day, meaning 12.4 per cent did not happen on time.

Last month performance has improved but of the 454,185 planned visits, a total of 38,009 did not happen on schedule – a rate of 8.4 per cent.

As some vehicles may collect more than one type of waste from properties, it is not possible to calculate how many individual bins were not emptied on time.

An Allerdale council spokesman said figures were not available for the first two weeks of the contract, so there is no way of knowing how many collections were missed then.

The spokesman said the service had experienced teething problems as the contractor put into practice its planned routes and came across pitfalls.

Some changes have been made to rounds, such as the specific routes bin collectors take between streets being amended to save time.

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Although the company providing the service – FCC Environment – has not changed, there have been changes to the way in which the service is run, which are believed to have contributed to the problems experienced. They include the introduction of bins for plastic, glass and tin recyclables in place of the previous purple bag system.

Paper and card recycling has also changed from fortnightly to four-weekly collections, with larger bins provided. General waste collections remain weekly.

It is understood that some areas of the borough such as Harrington and Salterbeck, where residents have repeatedly seen bins emptied behind schedule, are meant to be collected by crews who also work in more outlying areas of the borough. It is not yet known whether this is the reason for those delays.

It is also understood that the shake-up in the contract has led to some drivers and crews moving to routes and areas with which they are not familiar, which may have led to teething problems.

The spokesman said: “We continue to work with our contractor, FCC, to ensure that all the issues with our bin collection service are solved as quickly as possible.

“Performance has improved in recent days as minor amendments are made to routes by FCC, and crews get more familiar with them.

“We apologise to all residents who the crews are not able to get to on their normal bin day.

“In the vast majority of cases the crews are returning to these areas the following day to the empty bins, and we are posting information on the areas affected on our website every evening. We ask that residents leave their bins out for when the crews return.”

To check when your bins should be emptied, see if crews have been delayed and report any problems, visit allerdale.gov.uk/en/bincollections