HUNDREDS of disgruntled gardeners have had garden waste bins taken away by the Isle of Wight Council, blaming a lack of information about renewals.

Around 600 subscribers to the council's garden waste collection service have had, or will have, their bins removed as they did not renew their subscription.

The council sent renewal reminders to people by email, but many people had not provided an email address and therefore did not receive any notification.

However, the council said renewal terms and conditions were made clear when people signed up to the service and it was residents' responsibility to make sure they renewed their subscription.

The council said it also advertised the renewals process online and through press releases and on social media.

The collection service is currently at capacity with 7,000 subscribers, increased from 5,000 when it was launched. There are also 650 properties on the waiting list for the popular service, so people will now have to wait until spaces become available.

John Smith, of The Strand, Ryde, said that he and his fellow residents at a block of flats did not receive a reminder.

"When our year ran out we were told the scheme was oversubscribed and we would have to go on a waiting list to renew our membership," he said.

Another subscriber, Paul Dyer, of Park Road, Cowes, said: "Two guys came up the drive and started taking the bin away.

"When my wife asked what they were doing, they said they were taking it away as the renewal hadn't been paid.

"We never received a reminder, so we didn't realise it was due."

A council spokesperson said: “The level of uptake to the service has been far greater than anticipated and far exceeds the number of residents who used the old pre-purchased sack service.

"Currently, 157 properties have been visited and 114 bins have been collected, as the others were not presented for collection.

"The collection of bins is an ongoing process.

“Residents who subscribed to the service in the 2018/19 year who supplied an email address with their subscription were sent an email reminding them of the need to renew their subscriptions.

"The council advertised the renewals process from January 2019 online, through press releases, social media and the terms and conditions on sign-up.

"This decision was made to help ensure the opportunity to renew was taken up by residents, despite the terms and conditions being clear that the responsibility to renew subscriptions is with the customer.

“The council does recognise customers would prefer a rolling subscription or automatic renewal process for subscription services and are working to deliver a solution to this for the next subscription year.”