Mountains of black bin bags have appeared around Bideford as the new waste collections in Torridge experience some teething problems.
Torridge District Council started its new waste and recycling collections on June 4, with the intention of a fortnightly bin collection and a weekly recycling and food waste collection.
But it appears a combination of missed collections and residents putting rubbish out too early have resulted in black bin bags piling up in the streets.
Many bags have been ripped open by animals, with rubbish pouring over the roads.
Residents have complained it has taken hours – and sometimes been impossible – to get through to the council to report the problems.
Those who have got through have been told they will have to wait until their next collection in two weeks’ time.
Charlotte Buckley, who lives in Geneva Court, said: “Our first collection was supposed to be on Friday, June 8, but nobody came.
“By Monday there was rubbish everywhere where the cats had ripped open the bags.
“I rang the council and it took me three hours to get through.
“It’s disgusting; it’s starting to smell and there are young children on this estate. It’s worrying.”
On Facebook, residents have also reported issues in Greville Street, Clovelly Road and Cooper Street in Bideford, as well as in some areas of Torrington.
Torridge sent out a calendar of collection dates and times to all households in the district ahead of the changes.
It also announced it had employed two compliance officers who would be carrying out a door-to-door campaign in ‘hotspot’ areas.
Councillor Mervyn Langmead, lead member for waste and recycling, said: “Torridge District Council continues to make over 50,000 waste and recycling collections each week from domestic properties across our largely rural district and we wish to engage with residents to ensure that recycling levels are raised.
“The volumes of materials collected on the different rounds highlight those areas were recycling is lower than other areas and our compliance officers will seek to actively engage with those residents to encourage them to recycle more.
“We also receive complaints from the public about black bags and waste material being put out early/left for prolonged periods, sometimes outside business premises which do not qualify for waste and recycling collections paid for by council tax payers, and the compliance officers will be looking to tackle any issues which could lead to untidy streets or vermin infestations.
“I really hope that the public welcome and support this excellent initiative to help improve our local environment.”
Read the council’s full response here. Have you experienced problems with your waste collection? Vote in our poll above.