OUTRAGED residents are demanding to know when their rubbish bins will be collected.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s refuse service has been besieged with calls about delayed collections – so many it has told residents it can no longer answer calls.

The city’s refuse collectors were waylaid during last week’s wintry weather with some roads inaccessible to bin lorries and refuse collectors diverted on to gritting duties.

But residents complained that many accessible roads were ignored and others have been asking for weeks about missed deliveries.

The council has now promised The Argus they will clear the backlog of overflowing rubbish by Friday, but said recycling will still take longer.

The refuse service has been apologising for delays and malfunctions for more than a month.

Meanwhile the streets are lined with overflowing bins.

Ben Murray-Watson told The Argus his recycling boxes in the Drove, Brighton, had not been collected for five weeks.

He said he had been complaining for weeks, but had seen no action.

He said: “It’s pretty disgraceful. We have five boxes overflowing so we’re no longer recycling. We have no room in our house to store boxes and the boxes right next to the pavement are a massive eyesore.”

In Poets’ Corner, Hove, seagulls have been ripping open overflowing binbags.

Tamworth Road resident Lynsey Bartlett said: “People are feeling more disgruntled than anything.

“They were supposed to be collected on Friday when it wasn’t even snowy.

“Every day I’ve been getting more and more annoyed. In the areas where there are communal bins it is particularly bad because everyone is leaving all their extra rubbish there.

“When I walked my son to school there was rubbish everywhere where the seagulls have ripped bags open. People have been cleaning it up but it shouldn’t come to that.

Refuse services told residents on February 7 they were “catching up” with recycling collection missed in the previous week.

Days earlier the service said unspecified “vehicle problems” were causing delays in the Ditchling Road and Preston Drove areas.

The council blamed “operational issues” for missing pick-ups in other parts of the city.

Residents have been bombarding the council with complaints and are demanding on social media to know when bins will be collected.

But the council refused to explain the cause of these problems, simply blaming last week’s snow.

The city has long been criticised for its dismal recycling rates. The amount of waste recycled last year did increase slightly on previous years but more than two thirds of our rubbish still ends up in landfill.

A council spokeswoman said: “The severity of the recent weather did unfortunately create a backlog in collections, mainly due to many of the city’s roads and side roads not being accessible due to the heavy snow and icy conditions.

“It was important to grit as many roads as possible first to ensure they were useable for our waste and recycling lorries as much as possible, and also safe so people and transport could keep moving.

“Our crews have been working extra hard to make up the backlog and all outstanding waste collections will be cleared by this Friday. Recycling will take longer and will be collected on the next scheduled day.”