NEW waste collections for thousands of homes in Tendring could be plunged into chaos amid confusion over what people are allowed to recycle.

Council chiefs are facing a backlash over a shake-up in recycling collections at thousands of homes across district.

The new system was launched in Clacton this week.

Homes now have separate bins for paper, plastic bottles and tins, and food waste.

The scheme will be extended across the whole of the district by the end of May, affecting almost every household.

But the changes are already sparking controversy even before the new-look collections are introduced in some areas.

Complaints include:

• Confusion over what can be recycled.

• Recycling boxes without lids, allowing waste paper to blow away.

• New waste food bins acting as a magnet for animals such as rats and foxes.

The new system is designed to boost recycling rates by including waste food for the first time.

The council says it will increase recycling by at least five per cent and save £450,000 a year.

A full list of what can and can’t be recycled is on the council website.

More staff are also manning the council call centre to deal with problems.

Council envorinment boss Nick Turner said introducing any new service always presented a challenge.

“We predicted there would be teething problems and my department has received a large number of calls from residents which we were fully prepared for,” he said.

“On the first rounds yesterday 70 per cent of people had taken part and used the recycling service correctly, 15 per cent had taken part but made mistakes and 15 per cent had not participated,” he said.

“I want to make it clear that it is not compulsory – we are asking and offering, not telling and demanding.”

“Anyone with mobility problems will have their waste and recycling collected from their door. The message is that we are here to help.”

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