North Devon residents have been complaining of the ‘stink’ after kerbside food caddies sit in the heat due to missed recycling collections.

North Devon Council has apologised to a number of residents who were missed by food waste and recycling collections in recent weeks.

The council said an ‘unprecedented’ amount of food waste had been collected since the introduction of the kerbside caddies earlier this month.

It meant some houses were left with food waste caddies sitting in the heat while homeowners waited for the delayed collections.

People began complaining on the council’s Facebook page of the ‘stinking’ caddies.

One person said: “6 days later and we are still waiting for our “missed collection” to be collected. In this heat the smell isn’t pleasant.

“Will the extra that will now be 2 weeks of food waste and recycling be collected? They ran out of space last week so did 1/4 of the village - how will they manage this week with the extra to collect?”

Another user commented: “Our recycling hasn’t been collected in Woolacombe for two weeks now!!!

“Despite ringing and making complaints and being told to leave it out they would collect it later in the week.”

And another complainant said: “Pretty much the whole of Roundswell are still waiting since Friday to have recycling and food waste collected. The whole place stinks.”

The council said it had collected 80 tonnes - the equivalent of 32 skips full - of food waste in the first fortnight.

This was above what the council has estimated it would collect, based on the experience of other councils.

While NDC said it was good news less was going to landfill, it has ‘significantly slowed down’ collections, leaving some rounds unfinished.

Cllr Rodney Cann, NDC lead member for the environment, said: “We really want to thank the public for their continued commitment to recycling more of their waste.

“We have collected around 80 tonnes of food waste in the first two weeks of the new service which was far more than we were anticipating.

“We are truly sorry that we have let our customers down by not collecting their recycling and would ask them to bear with us whilst we sort out our logistical problems.

“We hope to be back on track within a few weeks but in the meantime we will continue to put in extra resources to get the collections completed.”

The Recycle More project was launched on June 5, and aims to get North Devon recycling over 50 per cent of its rubbish by 2020.

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