Disgusted west Cumbrians are calling for tax rebates after Allerdale Council announced it was suspending recycling collections amid problems collecting household rubbish.

Residents have faced continued problems with waste and recycling collections since a new contract began in April. In just seven weeks in April and May, 66,000 bins were not emptied on time.

Now the council has announced it is stopping garden waste collections for two months from Monday, and will not empty glass, plastic and tins bins for up to the same length of time.

A spokesman said: “Both the council and contractor FCC Environment apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“Since the changes were introduced the bin crews have not been able to make it to some properties on the scheduled day. Therefore, the council is introducing temporary changes, to help crews complete the rounds whilst more permanent solutions are devised by the council and FCC.”

But residents are disgusted, believing the move will result in more recyclables going into landfill and put people off recycling.

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Rebecca McAleavy, of Salterbeck, Workington, contacted the council after her bins weren’t emptied on time and said she was told there were not enough lorries to do all the collections and the system was in crisis.

She said: “It’s been two weeks since the bins have been emptied. It’s disgusting and it stinks.

“This is just going to make more general waste. We have only got a small bin so everybody’s bins are going to be overflowing more.

“I’ve had to go to the recycling place at Tesco to get rid of some because it was full and I’ve been taking it for a neighbour. Some people don’t have transport.

“It’s not reasonable. They gave us all new bins in April and now they’re cancelling it. They’re saying everybody’s got to recycle because the seas are getting full of plastic waste and they’re not helping people do it.

“Our council tax went up in April and now they don’t even empty our bins.”

Cameron Braid’s bins have not been emptied on the right day five times since the new system began.

Lorry driver Mr Braid, 60, of Kirkland Avenue, Wigton, said: “For them to have such a blaze of advertisement for the new system to only last from April until the beginning of July is ridiculous. I think Allerdale’s bitten off more than it can chew.

“I said, ‘Do we get a rebate on our council tax?’. They said, ‘No’.

“It’s just going to go to landfill from what I can make out. It’s a very backward step.”

Retired Ted Jones, 67, of Ewanrigg Road, Maryport, said he had been told by the council to put his recyclable waste out with his general rubbish and it would be sorted at Carlisle. But he believes this is unlikely to happen with the volumes of black bagged waste being handled.

He said: “I think it’s wrong. Are they going to rip every bag open? Everything until September is going to go to landfill, I think.

“I think it’s disgusting. Every year you get an increase in council tax and they can’t provide the services. As a country we should be recycling. Eventually we’re going to run out of landfill space.

“They have spent all this time teaching people to recycle. It’s going to do it all. When they go back to recycling a lot of people are going to say they can’t be bothered because they’ve got so used to putting it in the household waste.”

Property developer Michael Marrs, 71, of Wigton, has also been waiting days for a bin to be emptied.

He said: “I think it’s terrible because the council tax goes up and if you don’t pay that on time look out. It should be a two-way street. We pay for that service.”

He does not think it is reasonable to suspend recycling collections so the rubbish bin problems can be resolved.

He added: “There shouldn’t be anything to sort out. Up until April they have collective everything. It isn’t an excuse.”

Allerdale Council has advised people to use recycling centres and household waste sites to dispose of their recycling and garden waste while collections are suspended. For details and locations, visit www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/waste-recycling/recycling-centres