Bin date apology

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Residents were left scratching their heads in confusion after receiving calendars listing bin collection dates for the wrong district.

Villagers in Alpheton were given collection dates for their black, blue and brown bins until November 2013 before Christmas.

However, bemused residents soon discovered that the leaflets were for the Mid Suffolk area and not the Babergh district – in which they are located.

Ken Watkins, chairman of Alpheton Parish Council, said the problem could cause chaos as Babergh’s black waste bin collection week was when Mid-Suffolk’s blue recycling bin was emptied.

“As soon as I noticed, I immediately rang the council hotline and pointed out the mistake,” said Mr Watkins, who lives in The Glebe.

“Most of the people I have spoken to have just laughed about it and some didn’t even notice.

“If people relied on the calendars, they would be thrown out by it.”

Babergh District Council shares its waste collection with Mid Suffolk following the integration of the two authorities last year. The move was made in order to cut costs.

Brigitte Dawson, corporate manager of waste for the two councils, said the confusion was caused by an “operational error” after a Babergh rubbish truck broke down and was replaced with a Mid Suffolk vehicle carrying calendars for that district.

“Having delivered the wrong calendars, people could have started putting out the wrong bins,” she said.

Mrs Dawson said having realised the error, which also affected residents in Shimpling, the correct calendars were now being distributed and every household should have them by Saturday.

“Hopefully, the error has been corrected and it is our fault completely,” she said.

“We apologise sincerely to the residents in that area.”

Mrs Dawson added that no extra costs had been incurred as a result of the mix-up.

“We had some spare calendars and the crews are not charging any more,” she said.