New bin collections - due to start this month - have been postponed by Wakefield Council because a ‘vital’ piece of recycling equipment is stuck in a frozen Canadian river.
Waste collection changes were due to begin on March 16 with the rubbish being taken to the district’s new £750m recycling plant.
Sub-zero temperatures in Canada have caused the River Hudson to freeze over leaving hundred of boats stranded and the vital pieces of kit for the new South Kirkby waste plant stuck.
Now the council has suspended the planned changes to bin collections for a third of homes.
A council spokeswoman said people should ignore the letters sent out about the changes and continue with their normal bin routine.
She added there would be no changes to collection days or the current system of three wheelie bins and a recycling box until the summer.
Peter Eglinton, managing director of Shanks Waste Management, which operates the new plant, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience or confusion this has caused. We are working with the council and our suppliers to get the required equipment delivered as soon as possible so we can start making more from the waste produced by the district.”
The council will send out a second letter explaining the reasons for the delay in changes to household waste collections.
Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We are really sorry that we are having to ask people to disregard letters which have already been sent out, but this is due to factors beyond our control.
“Vital equipment for the new recycling facility in South Kirkby has been stranded in the frozen Hudson River where conditions have been exceptionally icy in recent weeks.
“Without this equipment we cannot complete the new recycling system as we had hoped to do this month.
“Once they became aware of situation in North America, our waste PFI partners, Shanks, identified another facility in the UK to take the district’s waste until South Kirkby is equipped and ready.
“But they were notified at the last minute that this is not now an option and cannot find another facility to take the district’s waste at such short notice. This leaves us with no alternative but to postpone the planned changes to the district’s waste collections until later in the year.”
The council said anyone who has already started with the new mixed recycling routines should put these bins out for collection as normal.
They should then revert to how they recycled before.
Coun Cummings added: “We appreciate that this will cause inconvenience and uncertainty for householders, but we are committed to delivering a better waste management and recycling service for all homes as soon as we possibly can.”
For more information on the changes and updates on when the plant at South Kirkby will be in operation visit www.wakefield.gov.uk