Sunday bin collections for Leeds

Sunday bin collections are to be launched in Leeds as council chiefs try to untangle the chaos caused by re-organisation of the city's refuse collection system.

Extra staff and managers are being drafted in to try to catch up on a build-up of uncollected waste.

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Council bosses reduced the number of collection rounds from 51 to 40 as

part of a deal reached by the previous Conservative-Lib-Dem coalition council following an 11-week strike by refuse workers against pay cuts.

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The coalition lost power in Leeds last May, leaving a coalition of Labour and a single Green councillor to introduce re-organised collection of waste from 300,000 homes in the city. But the re-organisation hit immediate problems.

* It was introduced four and a half months late

* Crews were put on routes they did not know

* There were no detailed records of previous routes - they were known only to the refuse collectors

* Letters warning of changes to collection schedules went out too late

* In the first week of the new service 3,300 homes did not have their bins collected

* Eight weeks later 1,650 homes were still being missed

* Predicted levels of savings under the new system plummeted – down from 2.4m to 600,000, then 300,000.

In an effort to sort out the mess, the council is bringing in Sunday collections and extra staff.

Coun Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, said: "We will sort out problems with bin collections and we will make this service work. The council is concentrating as much resource as it has available into making this happen and residents should see a clear improvement very soon."

Agreed changes to binmen's pay come into effect this month which mean that an element of what they receive is dependent on their performance and completion of daily tasks, and a reminder letter outlining the details of this is being issued to staff. From Monday an extra two collection crews are being restored.

A council spokesman said: "As part of the big push, managers are working hands-on to help support crews and 30 staff have been drafted in temporarily from the council's parks section to help out. Garden waste collections have been suspended for now and their crews transferred to black and green bin collections."

Residents are urged to report if their bin has not been collected

within 48 hours by calling 0113 222 4406.