BOURNEMOUTH’S much-publicised food waste collection service has got off to a bad start after more than 100 food bins were accidentally thrown away – by council staff.

Residents who collected their food scraps for recycling were stunned to see their brand new bins chucked on to refuse lorries and carted off to landfill.

The food waste collection service was launched this week following months of publicity by the council.

The £7.1million scheme was funded by central government to try and boost the amount of waste recycled in Bournemouth.

The problems occurred with food caddies that were clipped into residents’ ‘little bins,’ as advised by Bournemouth council.

In some cases refuse workers forgot to remove the caddies but simply emptied the ‘little bins’ into the truck – food caddies and all.

Karen Speeden, of Aberdare Road in Redhill, who saw her caddy being thrown away said: “It’s just so disappointing. You’re advised to do something, you follow the instructions exactly and yet somehow the bin gets chucked away.

“It is such an appalling waste of money.”

And neighbour Robert Stocker, who also lost his bin, said: “At first I thought I had done something wrong but I read the instructions again and realised it wasn’t my fault.

“It is very unfortunate.”

Many residents also complained to the council via Facebook and Twitter. Mick Sheavyn wrote on Facebook: “Put our food caddy in bin as instructed, now in the back of the bin lorry!”

Jessica Walton said: “My food caddy has gone missing after duly having been filled up and placed in the smaller bin – my neighbours have had the same... disappointed that such a good idea has gone rather wrong.”

And Ray Roberts said: “Put my food waste out yesterday nowhere to be seen now.

“I guess that food and container filling up a landfill site.”

Bournemouth council said yesterday it had received reports of 108 containers going missing – a tiny proportion of the 62,000 households included in the scheme. Each caddy costs £5 and the council has been sending rep-lacements to affected residents.

It is also attempting to recover any discarded caddies from the landfill site at Canford Magna.

‘A few teething problems’

Larry Austin, strategic operations manager at Bournemouth council, said: “There’s been a few teething problems which I suppose you would expect when rolling out a scheme of this magnitude.

“It’s an entirely new scheme for Bournemouth and for our collection crews. They have been involved in this scheme from the start but they now need to get in the habit of checking every single bin.

They collect 1,200 to 1,500 bins per day so it really is isolated problems.

“My message to residents is please bear with us. It’s really beneficial for residents, for the council and for the environment to support the food waste scheme.”

Anyone who needs a new container should call the council on 01202 451199.