Residents have been waiting for more than two months for missing or broken recycling and waste bins to be replaced.

Almost 700 residents were waiting for replacements at the start of last week according to new figures obtained by The Argus.

The longest-delayed residents requested bins at the start of June – a wait well beyond the council’s own target of 28 days.

Council officers said demand has increased significantly since September because of severe storms and many of the city’s wheelie bins are now ten years old and need replacing.

Replacing communal bins, recycling boxes and wheelie bins has cost the council more than £55,000 already this year – compared to just more than £78,000 for the whole of 2013 and £53,000 in 2012.

Requests for new bins soared from 340 in July last year to 1,216 in November, 1,593 in February and 1,863 in January. Over the last three months there has been an average of 800 requests a month.

The council has already delivered 3,675 new bins and boxes in the first six months of the year – a 62% increase on the last six months of 2013. While residents wait for new bins, they have now been given permission to put out their rubbish on collection days in black bin bags.

Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde said: “It is really unacceptable for residents.

“The blame ultimately lies with the Green administration which has shown a complete lack of leadership or responsibility for these persistent problems.”

GMB branch secretary Mark Turner said: “There is a permanent two-person crew that just does deliveries of bins every day.

“It could only be speeded up if more people were put on to do it.

“Another issue is how fast the manufacturers can produce them.

“In the past they have not been able to meet demand and there has been a shortage across the country.”

A council spokesman said: “We are currently prioritising the work of our delivery crews to reduce waiting times.

“Residents waiting for a replacement bin should put their rubbish out in refuse sacks on their usual collection day and we would ask anyone that is awaiting delivery of a new recycling box to put their recycling into carrier bags, again, on their allotted collection day.”