Residents have been left with their Christmas trees long after the festive season ended after the wintry weather caused chaos to recycling services.

Garden waste is still outside homes despite being due to be collected by Richmond Council’s recycling team just after Christmas.

Jean Allison, of Elmsfield Avenue, Teddington, said: “We still have Christmas trees outside our houses.

“My garden waste was last collected on December 28 and my Christmas tree was meant to have been picked up on January 7.

“It’s a whole month on.

“They said the disruption is because of the gritters but we haven’t seen any grit down our roads.

“I spoke to the council and they apologised for not emptying my garden bins – that’s just rubbish.”

John Sinfield, of Hazel Close, Whitton, has officially complained to the council, angered that despite his recycling rates going up from £30 to £60 last year, residents will not get any money back for the missed collections.

He said: “We’ve had snow before but someone has turned up and collected the waste.

“If it snows again the collection is going to get put back and back.”

Councillor Geoff Acton, Richmond Council’s cabinet member for environment, said the recent bad weather had led to the need for waste collections to be prioritised.

He said: “Garden waste collections were due to start again in early January, but because of the extreme weather conditions we had to move staff to gritting duties, which meant collections were delayed.

“I hope residents understand that on these occasions, we have to prioritise work and keeping roads clear was essential.

“We worked hard to ensure food and black bag waste was collected as quickly as possible afterwards and now I’m pleased to say garden waste collections are happening again.”

The council’s waste and recycling service can be reached on 0845 6122 660.

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