A mixed message from the Nelson City Council meant hundreds of rubbish bags were left on city streets from yesterday morning until today, prompting an apology, which was issued this morning.
Bagged rubbish and full recycling bins sat untouched for 24 hours without a truck in sight.
Each year when Christmas Day falls during the week, collection is shifted back a day, meaning that this week's Tuesday collection was changed to Wednesday, and so on.
Thursday is when the city area, including the Grampians, Victory Square and the Maitai and Brook Valleys are covered, so that was shifted to today.
But the council's ratepayer-funded fortnightly publicity leaflet Live Nelson did not make that clear, saying only that recycling pickup for Christmas Day would happen on Boxing Day, and stating: "All other statutory holidays, normal pickup".
Although the right information is on the council's website, many residents took that to mean it would be rubbish and recycling day as usual yesterday.
Nelmac staff were catching up this morning and will be in Stoke tomorrow.
The same scenario repeats next week, with no collection on Tuesday, New Year's Day, and collection days all beginning 24 hours later for the rest of the week. After that, normal service will resume.
In a brief statement this morning, the council conceded it had caused "some confusion" as a result of the information published in Live Nelson. "The editor apologises for the error," it said.
Nelmac refuse and recycling manager Warren McLean said, "We just bump everybody's collection out by a day, rather than confuse people."
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