Rat and smell fears over missed bin collections

Uncollected recycling and food waste on a Denbighshire street
The council says collections have been missed because some rounds have taken longer than expected [BBC]

People in one Welsh county have said they are still waiting for their recycling and food waste to be taken away, three weeks after changes were made to collections.

When weekly pick-ups of stackable recycling bins - known as trolibocs - began in Denbighshire on 3 June, thousands of homes were bypassed.

Residents have aired their frustration on social media, calling the new recycling system a "shambles" and "a joke", and urged the council to "get your act together".

Council chief executive Graham Boase has previously apologised and said more recyclables had been collected than anticipated.

He said refuse wagons had "filled up perhaps more than they were going to, which means they have to return to the depot to unload to go back out again".

Susan Burzio, of Prestatyn, said she persuaded a passing bin lorry crew to take her three-week old food waste as the truck "wasn't collecting recycling, it was just empty and picking up the black bins".

She added: "But fortunately I managed to flag them down and they were helpful and they sympathised and did take the food waste at least."

Susan Burzio Prestatyn resident
"With the weather getting better it is also adding to the smell and the vermin," says Susan Burzio [BBC]

She said she had concerns about hygiene given that waste had been left for so long, with neighbours telling her they had seen rats.

"With the weather getting better it is also adding to the smell and the vermin. I daren't look in the bag today," she added.

"I just tipped it and my husband hosed them out because was the smell was bad enough. So they've probably got maggots and all sorts in.

"You know it is grim."

Uncollected recycling bins outside homes in Denbighshire
Thousands of homes were bypassed when the new collection system was brought in [BBC]

Jacob Riddle, from Meliden, has begun a petition calling for a public inquiry into the handling of the scheme which has attracted more than 600 signatures.

"We must do more to protect the environment and this scheme is a good idea, but we have to look at what has gone wrong so it doesn't happen again," he said.

Many residents have said they do not blame refuse collectors for the issues.

Jacob Riddle, who has started a petition on the bins problem, standing outside homes
Jacob Riddle has started a petition calling for answers to the problems [BBC]

Mr Riddle said: "It's not an attack on the bin men, the system has gone wrong somewhere."

The council has redeployed staff from other departments to help support the front-line collection crews.

Speaking earlier in June, Mr Boase said: "The reason we've missed collections is some of the rounds have taken longer than we thought they were going to take.

"That is in part because of the extra recycling our residents have done."

At a Denbighshire council meeting chief executive Graham Boase called the botched roll-out "unacceptable".

The cabinet's recycling member, Barry Mellor, said he was "pushing" for improvements.

But other councillors were unimpressed, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Brian Jones told Mr Mellor: "You haven’t got a clue what you’re doing."

Huw Hilditch Roberts said it had gone from being a "shambles" to a "disaster".

Bobby Feeley said: "I’ve represented Ruthin for over 30 years, and I’ve never known anything like this."