RUBBISH amounting to the weight of 221 double decker buses is being saved from landfill, new figures show.

Colchester councillors said they are pleased with the amount of rubbish being recycled after changes to the waste collection system.

When the controversial system was rolled out in June, Colchester Council faced a host of teething problems and complaints from residents who had their collections missed.

However, the council has just released figures for the first three months and numbers are above expectation for the amount of rubbish being recycled.

The changes had been made in order to boost recycling rates and reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. Initial figures suggest the fortnightly black bag collection arrangements have reduced the amount of general rubbish each household puts out.

In the three months following the introduction of the new system, councillors say recycling has increased dramatically.

Between July and September the borough recycled 55 per cent of all its rubbish, compared to the 44 per cent recorded in March.

Jessica Scott-Boutell, councillor responsible for waste, said: “The new system has meant big changes for Colchester residents and I am delighted people have adjusted to it so quickly.

“These fantastic results speak for themselves, showing a major decrease in the amount of material that is going to landfill.

“A huge thank you to the borough’s residents for your efforts in creating this change. There is still more we can do to live more sustainably, but this is an excellent start.”

Between July and September there was a reduction of 2,757 tonnes in residual waste, which is 34 per cent less rubbish going to landfill.

This reduction is the equivalent to the weight of 221 double decker buses.

There are still a few bumps in the road which need smoothing out, including making sure all new estates are included in the collection system.

Last week rubbish in Coalville Mews, which had been sitting in the road for four weeks, was collected after the council realised the road had been missed off the rota.

Colchester’s MP Will Quince had raised the new system in Parliament when it was first rolled out, saying the council had been ignoring residents’ concerns.

The recycling target for 2016 and 2017 was 400kg of waste per household. This was exceeded with an average of 422kg.