Opinions are split on whether the recent change to the way refuse and recycling is collected in Swindon has been a big improvement or a huge step backward.

Adver readers have written in to voice their views on Swindon Borough Council’s controversial decision to introduce new blue bags and dedicated food waste pick-ups.

Mike Large, of Stratton St Margaret, argued that the shift has broken what was once a reliable waste collection system.

He said: “There is a saying - "If it isn't broke, don't fix it".

“The old way of one collection of all waste every two weeks seemed to work very well, apart from the very odd occasions when weather may have caused some delays.

“Whoever thought of this new system obviously did not think of all the problems it would cause.

“Two things were changed in November: food waste was introduced and the plastic items had to be put into a supplied blue bag.

“The addition of the food waste in itself should not have caused much of a problem, but as I see it, the blue bags are a nightmare and require much more time than before.

“Now at every household, the binmen have to take the bag to the lorry, empty it and then return it to the household which takes much longer.

“Before, plastic waste was put into a large plastic bag which invariably were collected up by the men and put into one collection area then thrown into the vehicle, “Simple! As a solution, I recommend going back to the previous system - wouldn't this work just as well?

“Of course I realise that will never ever happen, but surely it should have been considered before upsetting pretty well everyone in Swindon.”

Margaret Fryer, of Covingham, then penned a response to Mr Large about why she prefers the new system.

She said: “I was interested in Mike Large's letter on January 29.

“Unlike him, I prefer the new blue bag to the old system of putting plastics in a white bin liner, which was much more likely to blow away in the wind when put out for collection than the blue bag is.

“I keep the blue bag in the kitchen and put plastic and metal waste in it as and when necessary.

“It was always a nuisance, with the old system, remembering to buy the white bin liners for the plastics.

“I'd be very sorry if Swindon Borough Council reverted to the old system - even if I am the only person who likes the new blue bag!”