A new waste scheme introduced in households covered by Tendring District Council is so confusing according to some residents that they're no longer recycling as much as they used to.
The council began rolling out the new system at the beginning of last month. A weekly collection of black bin bags for any remaining rubbish continues. What's different is they've introduced a separate bin for weekly food collections and instead of all the recycling being put out each week together in one box there's now a bi-weekly collection. One week it's paper and card that's put out in a red box and the next it's tins, cans and plastic bottles in a green box.
Some residents living in West Street in Harwich are complaining that they can no longer recycle items such as yoghurt pots and margarine tubs and that boxes of recycling have been left on the street because they contained the wrong items for that week's collection.
Andrea Kittle, a resident of West Street in Harwich says:"The general consensus is it's extremely confusing, it's really difficult to remember which day to bring which thing out and there's so many boxes and caddies, things they will take and things they won't take. People to be honest from what I can gather are now pretty anti-recycling just because it's been made too difficult."
Linda Bradnum, who also lives on West street agrees. "I recycled three to four bins a week and now because you can't put margarine cartons in, you can't put packaging, all you've got is tins and bottles one week and the following week is newspaper and cardboard.
"I think people are worried that the stuff is going to blow around in the street so they're putting other stuff on the top of it and the dustmen won't take it."
Tendring district council says it is now only recycling higher grade plastics but it has responded to requests by introducing a food collection service.
Councillor Nick Turner, Tendring District Council's Cabinet Member for the environment said:
"The aim of the changes is to reduce the costs to the Council, and therefore the tax payer, saving around £450,000 per year, as well as increase recycling by about 5 per cent and improve our environment."
"I want to make it clear that it is not compulsory. We are asking and offering, not telling and demanding."