NORTHWICH residents have been forced to play dustmen, says a Wincham resident.
Stuart Kirton says he was among dozens turned away from the Witton landfill site on Old Warrington Road on Monday morning, he believes, as a result of a deluge of rubbish caused by the launch of Vale Royal Borough Council's new Kerbside Collection Scheme.
He says residents were so anxious to rid themselves of their rubbish that had started to smell over the weekend heat-wave they decided to dispose of it themselves.
It would normally be collected weekly, but the new scheme means different types of rubbish, including kitchen waste, is now collected fortnightly.
'Such a lot of rubbish had been left over the weekend that the staff had to close the tip until 10am to tidy up the mess,' said Mr Kirton.
'There was a steady stream of cars from about 8am. The manager of the tip was not too happy. It seems they did not put extra staff on because they did not expect such a lot of rubbish.'
The situation arose just two weeks after the introduction of the council's recycling scheme, which has seen the collection of household waste reduced to once a fortnight in order for more recycling material to be collected.
'There had never been a problem until this weekend,' said Mr Kirton.
'But the warmer weather helped mature the rubbish so people brought it to the tip rather than leave it at home waiting for the binmen to come - which could have been up to two weeks later.
'I have a large family and there are some things, such as chicken carcasses, that you don't want hanging around. The two-week gap is the problem.'
A Vale Royal Borough Council spokesman denied the closure was down to an increase in the number of people bringing rubbish to the tip. She said: 'We are aware that Cheshire County Council's household waste recycling centre in Northwich was closed for an hour on Monday due to contractual difficulties.
'Cheshire County Council has not recorded any increase in the amount of household waste brought to the centre since the start of Vale Royal Borough Council's successful new kerbside recycling scheme.'
She added: 'We are fully aware of the concerns already been expressed regarding health issues, such as flies and smells, and would like to reassure residents that the risks associated with this have been fully assessed.
'Following simple housekeeping principles such as bagging food waste, keeping the bin out of direct sunlight and closed at all times will ensure flies and smells do not become a problem.'