Emergency staff have been drafted in to deal with the flood of calls to a ‘stretched’ Aylesbury Vale District Council as people experience difficulties with the new waste and recycling system.
Despite a promise that all bins would be delivered before the service began, many households had not received them as collections started.
Some areas reported their bins have not been collected, while others were given the wrong calendars.
More than 1,700 calls have been answered by council staff about the system since it launched on September 4, although some people have tried unsuccessfully for several days to get through.
Extra staff were enlisted to field calls before the system came in, but the volume of calls has exceeded expectations and six temporary employees have were brought in costing an extra £2,000 per week.
However, the council said the cost of these employees was part of the existing project budget.
The council apologised for ‘teething problems’, but the man in charge of the change, Councillor Sir Beville Stanier, thinks it has gone ‘pretty well’.
He said: “It was never going to be 100% correct. There were always going to be a few mistakes.”
Sir Beville said delivering new bins to homes without them was a priority and Andy Wilkins, council operations manager, said uncollected bins would be picked up ‘within 24 hours’.
One anonymous Halton resident said the situation was ‘ludicrous’.
Another, Aylesbury resident Sarah Wiltshire, said people had been left ‘totally and utterly bamboozled’
She said: “I spent nearly 20 minutes on hold and then get an engaged tone. What a waste of money.”
Sir Beville said the delivery company did not meet its deadline, but that problems were a ‘joint responsibility’. He said some homes were missed because it was difficult for anyone without intricate knowledge of areas to find every house.
Mr Wilkins said delivery delays had led to extra calls to the council, which ‘stretched resources’.
Residents whose new bins had not arrived asked to put their recycling in open carrier bags and leave them for collection.