HYGIENE concerns have been raised over food waste being kept in Knutsford garden waste bins for a month over the Christmas period.

The concerns come from Knutsford councillor Stewart Gardiner, who is a member of Cheshire East Council, which will not be collecting garden waste from homes between December 22 and January 4.

Cllr Gardiner says the decision will mean Knutsford residents who have a Friday green bin collection will not have their food waste, which has to go into the green bin, collected for four weeks.

Householders are supposed to put their food waste into their green garden waste bin.

Cllr Gardiner said: “if your green bin is due to be collected on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, you will not have a collection for four weeks.

“If your bin collection is on Christmas Day or Boxing Day your grey or black bin will be collected on the previous Wednesday. But that does not cover your green bin.

“If your collection day is on Christmas Day you will have a green bin collection on December 11, but not another until January 15.

“If your collection day is New Year’s Day you will have a green bin collection on December 18, and you won’t have another one until January 22.

“This wouldn’t have been a problem in the days when they were only collecting the garden waste, because garden waste can wait.

“However food waste is now in those green bins, which means for a month you’ve got no collection, and you will end up with rats.

“This affects probably at least half Knutsford, who have a Friday collection.

“This is unacceptable, and I written to the portfolio holder at Cheshire East asking them to reverse the decision, to make arrangements for the green bins to be collected so there isn’t a four-week delay.”

Cheshire East Council said: “There will be no garden waste collections from Tuesday, December 22, but please continue to put food waste into garden waste bins, ready for collections to restart on Monday, January 4.

“If space in your garden bin is limited please put your food waste into your black bin as a temporary measure.”

Cheshire East Council is inviting residents to have their say on its household waste recycling centre consultation.

The council runs eight household waste recycling centres for use by residents. The contract for this operation ends in 2023, and preparation for the procurement of a new contract is starting to take place.

The deadline for comments on the consultation, surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/HWRCReview2020/, is January 4.