Health fears have been raised after thousands of bins were left unemptied for more than two weeks in soaring temperatures.
Residents and councillors said they have seen rats and foxes snooping around overflowing bins and an increase in fly-tipping on back streets.
They said the problem has also been made worse because of scorching temperatures over the past few weeks leading to bad smells.
It comes after bin collections were cancelled two weeks ago for around 3,600 homes in the Baxenden and Peel areas due to strike action against the government over pay rises.
Baxenden councillor Terry Hurn said the area has ‘become overrun with rubbish’.
He said: “I’ve seen rats knocking around and the big problem up here in Baxenden is foxes, as they are coming out at night searching the rubbish bags for food. It’s a major worry.
“I did a tour around the area and also in Peel too and there’s quite a lot of back alleys that are overrun with rubbish and people have taken to fly-tipping.”
A letter sent to the Observer from an Accrington resident said the bin collections ‘couldn’t have come at a worse time’.
He said: “It is summer and the extra warmth is just enticing a health and safety hazard by leaving household waste out in our back lanes and streets.And it is a health and safety risk to the residents whose waste hasn’t been removed.”
However Ann McEvoy, of Christchurch Residents Association, said she
‘fully supported’ the
council workers’ right to strike.
She said: “If I have to suffer a little inconvenience with regards to
my bins it doesn’t bother me.”
Council leader Miles Parkinson said the strike had caused a ‘massive inconvenience’ to residents.
He said: “It’s a major concern to have refuse building up at a time when it’s warm, unlike in the winter months, and there is the smell as well.
“You pay your council tax and expect a service but at the same time the employees have a national dispute with the government over their wage income and that’s their democratic right.
“We have to budget for the year and the cost of paying agency staff far outweighs that.
“To get additional agency staff would cost a lot more and it would be to the detriment of our overall budget.”