Birmingham & Black Country

Uncollected rubbish in Birmingham 'attracting rats'

Rubbish at Cedarhurst Image copyright Susan Billingham
Image caption The city council says its plans will modernise the refuse collection service and save £5m a year

A Birmingham resident says uncollected rubbish is attracting rats, foxes and mice as a refuse strike continues.

Susan Billingham said rubbish had not been collected from Cedarhurst estate, Harborne, for nearly six weeks and it was "becoming a health risk".

Rubbish was not picked up two weeks prior to the start of a workers' strike in a job losses dispute, she said.

The city council said 52 teams were out over the weekend prioritising areas where rubbish bags had built up.

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Why are refuse workers striking in Birmingham?

But Ms Billingham said she had not seen this in Harborne.

Image copyright Susan Billingham
Image caption Ms Billingham said the rubbish was ruining the "lovely estate"

She has telephoned the council several times about the rubbish which she said for "some unknown reason" had not been collected since 8 June, while the recycling bins had not been picked up for eight weeks.

Many of the large container bins were overflowing and some had "50 to 60 bags" next to them, she said.

"It is piled up and is surrounded by the rat population of Birmingham. "We've got mice, foxes, we've got the lot here," she said.

She said residents could hear animals at night and found "rubbish strewn everywhere" in the mornings.

Image caption Industrial action began on 30 June

Lisa Trickett, cabinet member for clean streets, has told the BBC it plans to work with other organisations to clear rubbish.

"We have actually to be able to ensure our streets are clear of waste where it is a detriment to health and that our residents are listened to," she said.

Refuse workers are set to strike until September. The Unite union says the council is cutting some 120 jobs and that members have received notice letters. The council said workers had been offered other opportunities under restructuring plans.

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