The streets of Bury St Edmunds have been littered with black bags and wheelie bins this week after a council’s decision to make collections two days early caused confusion among residents.
Those living in town centre streets, including Chancellery Mews, Peckham Street and St John’s Place, were caught out by the alternative date set by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which saw bins collected on Saturday instead of Monday.
Councillor David Nettleton, who was among those who missed the collection, said: “All these bins are sitting outside on the street and tourists will be coming into the town over the Easter weekend via the main roads. They’re just going to be walking past bins. It doesn’t look very good.”
Leaflets were given to households a week prior to the changes but many took to social media to say they had not been informed.
“The problem is that the leaflets looked like every other leaflet, which usually tells us that the bins will be collected one day later. If it’s one day later it’s fine because you realise your mistake and leave them out until the next day,” said Cllr Nettleton.
“They’re also left under bins so some leaflets also get blown away or damaged in the rain and so not everyone gets them. Even people who are very efficient are being caught out because they weren’t alerted. We should have received a leaflet clearly stating the change.”
The next collection date for the black bins is Monday, April 9, meaning the bins will not be collected for another two weeks, though Cllr Nettleton said he planned to ask the borough council to carry out an early collection.
Cllr Julia Wakelam, who represents the Risbygate ward alongside Cllr Nettleton, said: “I do have sympathy for the residents who have missed the bin collection.
“The only thing I can think of is to deliver the leaflets a week earlier and give people plenty of notice but I think the real problem is that they’ve changed the system of collecting them one day later.
“Why, when you have a system that most people understand and remember, would you change it?”
A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “We appreciate that some residents have experienced disruption because of the recent severe weather, and knowing that the two bank holidays over Easter would change collection days, we delivered a collection calendar to households to inform them of the changes.
“This week, collections are mostly a day early, and next week they will be a day late. However, bins due on Monday 26 March had to be collected two days early on Saturday 24 March. We managed to collect the vast majority of bins and crews are now working through the small backlog.”