Fruit salad-themed bin rounds could turn sour next month when controversial evening collections are introduced.

The new rounds - each given a fruit title to make them easier for residents to remember - will start at 6am and finish by 8.30pm from Monday to Friday, with Saturday collections running from 7am to 2.45pm.

Using fewer vehicles running more frequently, they have been brought in to save the council £1m from its waste collection budget.

But the measures have been met with concern by residents who fear the trucks could cause traffic problems during the afternoon school run and rush hour.

Binmen have also raised concerns the collections will be difficult to carry out during the evenings when there are more parked cars in congested residential streets.

Sources in the council's waste and recycling department have said during trials of new routes some collections did not finish until 10.30pm - and predicted the new routes would overrun their 8.30pm schedule.

The council said it was confident the new collection times would be met.

It has said the new collections, which begin on April 16, are the best solution for a service needing to save money, when residents rejected suggestions of fortnightly collections or charging for removing free garden waste pick-ups.

By extending collection routes to run in the morning, afternoon and on Saturdays, the council claims it can save £500,000 without cutting collections, introducing extra charges or laying off staff.

Councillor Colin Hall, executive member for environment and climate change on Sutton Council, said: "Our residents told us that weekly waste collections were a priority for them, so we have found an innovative way of protecting front line services while still cutting costs."

Green bins and garden waste will be collected fortnightly, on the same day as brown wheeled bins.

In the week before the change, residents will receive leaflets and calendars, and a notice stuck on their bin, telling them which fruit-themed day their rubbish will be collected.

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