Allerdale council spent thousands of pounds on leaflets to let people know some of its recycling services had been suspended.
Kerbside collection of plastic, cans, glass and garden waste was temporarily cancelled in the borough because of problems with a new waste contract.
The council admits it paid more than £20,000 printing and distributing information to residents.
FCC Environment introduced a new collection scheme at the start of April, which used new lorries with in-cab technology.
The changes resulted in crews not being able to make it to some properties on the scheduled day.
Councillor Marion Fitzgerald said the authority had paid for the entire bill and contractors FCC had not been asked to contribute to the cost.
The figures emerged as the leader responded to a series of questions from Keswick councillor Markus Campbell-Savours who asked if "a better, cheaper, smarter way " had been considered.
He suggested that the council could have used digital methods to reduce costs, but Mrs Fitzgerald stressed that the letter wasn't the "only means of communication" used by the council to contact the borough's residents and that the situation had been an "emergency".