A TOWN hall blunder led to nearly 8,000 residents receiving letters telling them to recycle — in the wrong bins.

When Bolton Council became award of the mistake, it sent out follow-up letters earlier than planned — at a cost of £3,000.

The council mistakenly mixed up the burgundy bin, for glass, cans and plastic bottles, with the beige bin, for paper, card and drinks cartons.

However, they were correctly identified in the consultation document which was sent out.

Another letter, which highlighted the mistake, was then later sent out — although the council has stressed follow-up letters are often sent out.

A council spokesman said: “As part of our proposals to change the bin collection service, we are committed to consulting with residents across Bolton and listening to their views.

“We issued an initial letter and survey to 8,000 households, which represents a cross section of the population.

“After issuing, we noticed a small mistake in the letter, although the consultation document was correct.

“We often send a follow-up letter after a couple of weeks, to remind people to fill in our surveys, so we mentioned the mistake in the follow-up letter and sent it slightly earlier than we would have done. “As these changes to waste collections will affect every household in the borough, it is important we ensure that as many people as possible understand our proposals.”

The follow-up letter cost £3,286 to issue, of which more than £2,000 was postage.

Under the proposals, weekly bin collections could be scrapped and replaced with fortnightly rounds in a bid to save the council £2.6 million in waste disposal costs.

The grey bin collection could go fortnightly and a weekly food waste collection would be introduced, using a kitchen caddy container.

Bolton and Salford are the only authorities in Greater Manchester which do not have either fortnightly collections or reduced size grey bins.

Bolton is currently bottom of the recycling league table in the county.