A COUNCIL leader has apologised to residents affected by failures in the bin collection service over the past three months.

Marion Fitzgerald, leader of Allerdale Council, has issued a letter to occupants offering her “unreserved apologies for the inconvenience caused” on behalf of the council and FCC Environment.

Residents have faced continued problems with waste and recycling collections since a new contract began in April.

Now the council has announced it has stopped 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.

In the letter, Mrs Fitzgerald said: “Please be assured that we are working with FCC Environment, who provide the waste collection service on the council’s behalf, to resolve these issues as quickly as we can.

“We appreciate that many of you will still wish to recycle. There are a number of ‘recycling bring sites’ around the borough as well as the Household Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in Workington, Maryport and Wigton. The HWRCs also accept garden waste.”

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

Suzette Hunt, a resident on Orchard Road, Wigton, is at a loss as to what to do. She is a full time carer for her 10-year-old disabled daughter and relies on her plastic recycling being emptied.

Suzette’s daughter Eraina suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which means she doesn’t have much tissue around her limbs and is in pain all the time, as well as this she suffers from a sleeping disorder.

She said: “Eraina has paracetamol and ibuprofen four times a day and also sleeping medication, it all comes in plastic bottles.

“We go through plastic bottles every two weeks for all her medications and also plastic blister packs too.

“I can’t drive to get to the recycling and Eraina cannot walk for long distances without using her wheelchair so I can’t push her and take the recycling at the same time.

“I have to fight for everything and this is just one more thing I could have done without. I don’t know what they expect us to do.”

Working MP Sue Hayman has sent the message residents must be given council tax refunds. She is demanding answers from the council.

She said: “If it’s genuinely going to take as long as two months to resolve then they absolutely need to look at reimbursing people for this huge inconvenience. This is one of the key services the council has to provide. People are having to make a decision about what to do with their rubbish and how to manage it.”