Bury Council removed its online page for reporting ‘missed bins’ for a week after a surge in complaints that waste was not being collected on time.

Residents in Bury have suffered delays and missed collections of domestic waste since new vehicles and routes were introduced on June 21.

Last month the council apologised for delays to collections, saying that the new ‘re-balanced collection rounds’ and introduction of new vehicles was a ‘major change and staff shortages due to coronavirus are currently causing some disruption to scheduled bin collections’.

READ MORE:Audi dealership told to start being a 'good neighbour' - or 'find a new home' - amid 'furious' row over access to a right of way

During public questions at a full council meeting, resident Andrew Luxton aired his frustration that residents were unable to report when their collection had been missed.

He said: “Why has the council taken down the online report page for ‘missed bins’ and thus made it impossible for residents to report missed collections except via their local councillor?.”

We're testing a new site: This content is coming soon

He added that to report a missed collection by phone often ‘took hours’ and that was not acceptable.

Coun Alan Quinn, whose cabinet portfolio includes waste collection, told the council: “I do apologise for the missed bin collections. It’s my portfolio and I take responsibility.

“The facility to report a missed bin was temporarily taken down for a week to manage demand and make sure that residents could speak to our customer contact team for the most up-to-date information as the situation was changing daily.

“It is now fully active, as is the daily update of missed bins, should there be any. We will continue to update the website on a daily basis and put messages out on social media.

“If residents are ever unable to get through on the phone, they can always email the contact centre to report a missed collection, and one of the advisors will respond to them. The email address is [email protected]

Operations manager Carl Nieland and Cllr Alan Quinn with one of the new waste collection trucks

Last month one resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The first week our green bins were collected six days late and this week, our second week, our blue bins are now two days late to be collected.

“The teams obviously can’t handle the workload and we are the ones who suffer.”

The council said the new rounds will save more than £150,000 per year and reduce mileage by at least 4,600 miles per year.

Carbon emissions will also be reduced which will help towards climate change targets. The new routes will be complemented by a fleet of 19 new vehicles, with 12 in service now and a further seven by the autumn.

Bury Council said they had last reviewed collection rounds in October 2014.

A spokesman added: “Since then, many new homes have been built and our collection rounds have become out of balance as a result. We now collect from 83,750 homes and some of our rounds take in a lot more properties than others.

“By changing the collection rounds we can restore the right balance and provide a more efficient service.

“Please bear with us while our new collection rounds are established, and our crews get to know the best routes to complete their rounds.

“We expect this to take until the start of August after crews have completed two full collection cycles.

“On average, we are completing 98 per cent of scheduled bin collections. We are also returning to empty missed bins in roads or streets we haven’t managed to get to.”

Get the latest headlines with our newsletters.