Disruption to bin collections that led to waste lying uncollected across Barnet has sparked a furious row between Labour and the Conservatives.

Labour has said its councillors received complaints from all three constituencies in the borough after residents’ blue recycling and black refuse bins were not collected on the usual date last week.

The incident comes amid an already heated pre-election battle over bins, with both parties seeking to rubbish their opponents’ pledges on waste collection.

Barnet’s Conservatives have made keeping the weekly bin collection a central pillar of their manifesto and sent out leaflets claiming Labour would move to fortnightly collections.

But with the current disruption happening on the Tories’ watch, Labour has claimed it undermines the Conservatives’ claim to be tough on waste.

Several residents took to Twitter to vent their frustration at the delayed collections, which the council has said are due to “vital works” at its Oakleigh depot in New Southgate.

Twitter user MM Ducci tweeted: “No collection on correct day, nor on following day as stated. Rubbish piling up everywhere.”

Nick Jenkins added: “Your [the council’s] message said you would collect the next day…well that didn’t happen, certainly not in Friern Barnet.”

Guy Redmond, who lives on Summerlee Gardens, said his bins were not collected on the regular day but he was not told when the problem would be addressed.

He said: “The main problem was not being given enough information. As far as I am concerned, it is just a nuisance.

“The only election leaflet I have had from Barnet Conservatives has said Labour can’t be trusted on bin collections, and they are saying if Labour are elected, we will be going fortnightly.

“I have no idea where they have got this from, but it is a bit weird to happen on a week when a Conservative council is unable to make regular bin collections to have a Tory leaflet saying it is a Labour problem.”

The incident has sparked an intense Twitter war, with councillors making rival claims about the benefits of outsourcing public services

Conservative Cllr David Longstaff, who represents the High Barnet ward, tweeted: “Unions, socialists and Bolsheviks say in-house services are better run and far cheaper than outsourcing.

“And yet, so many problems… how unlucky to happen just before an election.”

Yet it was the Conservative-run council that made the decision to bring refuse collection in-house.

East Finchley Labour councillor Arjun Mittra claimed Cllr Longstaff was accusing council staff of sabotaging refuse collection to influence the election.

But Cllr Longstaff says he was misinterpreted and has sought to clarify his remarks.

He said: “People have blown it out of all proportion. All it [the tweet] says is I am told that in-house is far more efficient and effective, yet we have had more complaints about bins and other issues.

“Staff are working their hardest, and to say it is the fault of the Tories is a ridiculous standpoint.

“I was not trying to argue that everything should be outsourced at all.”

He also denied he had suggested council officers were sabotaging collections, branding Cll Mittra's claim "ridiculous".

Andy Palmer, a Labour candidate for the Brunswick Park ward, where the Oakleigh depot is located, said: “The Conservative leaflets promising to keep weekly bin collections are going straight into people’s recycling bins.

“Residents are not impressed that they can’t even collect the bins in the middle of the council elections.

“Trying to blame the staff is shameful when the council has admitted the problem is because the new depot needs vital repairs.

“I think it’s caused the Conservative campaign a lot of damage, because the reality is different to the claims they are making. It’s the same with pothole repairs and fly-tipping.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “The missed recycling collections took place last week due to vital operational works being carried out at the Oakleigh Depot.

“This means our recycling vehicles currently have to travel further to unload the materials at the sorting facility. As a result, we were unfortunately unable to carry out collections from all properties as scheduled.

“The service carried out all outstanding collections for last week by the end of Sunday. The operational works will continue until Monday April 23, and we will deploy additional resources during this week and into next week to minimise any disruption to residents’ collections.

“Where collections are delayed, we aim to collect the following day and residents should leave bins out for collection. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.”