Only foxes are currently happy with the Wandsworth's new refuse and recycling collection system according to a local councillor.

On April 2, contractor Serco took over the service, with weekend collections axed and many people given a new collection day.

But the changes sparked a flurry of complaints from residents claiming they were not given sufficient warning, rubbish has not been collected, and that people are now having to store rubbish inside their homes for fear of being fined.

The council insists it did all it could to inform residents of the changes and is confident that teething problems this week will be quickly ironed out.

Some people in Tooting and Earlsfield, unaware of the changes, put out their rubbish out days early only to complain that foxes ripped open rubbish sacks and scattered the contents down the road.

Sonny Rehal, a sales and marketing worker from Rogers Road, Tooting, said he phoned the council to complain, but was told it was his neighbours fault for not reading notices and they should bring their bin bags back inside.

He said: "The notice wasn’t advertised enough. All of the residents put it out yesterday (Monday) morning, he wants us to take them back into the house.

"Foxes have bitten into the refuse bags, into the holes and it is now scattered. It is smelly and a health hazard.

"There are a lot of elderly neighbours, they are really disgusted, clearly they are not happy."

Another Earlsfield resident, Graham Moody, of Garratt Lane, said he received a letter from the council just a week before the changes kicked in which threatened fines if rubbish was put out early.

He said: "I live in a small flat above a shop with no outdoor storage space so my rubbish and recycling will just build up inside as we have nowhere else to put it.

"Some people are putting it out early and the whole street looked like a rubbish tip on Wednesday morning.

"The only notice we got was a letter about a week before that did not tell us when our rubbish would be collected and threatened us with a fly-tipping charge if we put it out before it was due to be collected.

"I am faced with either having my flat smell of rubbish or being charged with fly-tipping."

Labour Councillor for Furzedown, Leonie Cooper, said: "Implementing a new multi-million contract with a new contractor is always tricky.

"Unfortunately for local residents, the new contact has not got off to a good start, with streets in Furzedown completely forgotten, and streets in Tooting uncollected, and residents not properly informed of their new collection day.

"Only our local foxes are currently happy with the new contract."

A council spokesman said: "The council has made 300,000 refuse and recycling collections this week and it is clear that the message about the changes got through to a huge number of households.

"To make sure local people knew, we wrote and told them about the changes when we sent out council tax bills last month.

"Details also appeared in the Wandsworth Guardian and there were two prominent features in the council's magazine Brightside which is delivered to every home in the borough.

"We also used Twitter, Facebook and other community websites and even the local neighbourhood watch network to get the message across.

"Although there have been some teething problems this week we are confident that these will be quickly ironed out.

"The new contract means that residents will benefit from the ending of Saturday morning pick ups, a guarantee of weekly bin collections, the introduction of split compartment vehicles so one lorry can do the job of two and a saving to council tax payers of £1m a year."

Have you been affected by the refuse collection changes? Contact the newsdesk on 020 8722 6344 or email