FURIOUS residents have rubbished council plans to ditch doorstep refuse collections, forcing them to lug their bins to council collection points.
People living in several areas of Hyndburn have been faced with the request, some being told to walk as far as a quarter of a mile to dump their rubbish.
Householders in Claremont Road, Accrington, received council letters last week stating their usual service was being scrapped.
Instead of collecting from the back of their terraced homes, the residents were told to walk with their heavy, full bins around the block and leave them at the front of their properties.
Jacqui Carter, an office administrator, said: "I have to walk about 100 yards to place the bin. Most of the people on this street are in their 70s and 80s, and it's just not acceptable for them to struggle like that. Bin collection is a staple service and we don't expect to have to lug our rubbish for that distance."
"Our council tax is enough without having to move our own rubbish. It's absolutely ridiculous and very unsightly having the bins there."
One pensioner, who did not wish to be named, said: "What are we supposed to do when we aren't up to it? The bins could go uncollected for weeks, and that would create a real stink."
It is believed the reason for the change is because the council has purchased new refuse vans that won't fit along the old route.
And in Garsden Avenue, Knuzden, the problem is even worse. Residents have been asked to lug their rubbish around a quarter-of-a-mile uphill.
Christopher Best, 60, a retired policeman, said: "We pay £1,800 council tax a year and feel like second-class citizens. They originally told us the binmen had been complaining about the weight of the bins. Then they said the lorries were being damaged by the drive down the lane."
"We're in the dark because after making the change, the binmen brought the wheelie bins to our houses."
"But we can't get a definite answer about what's going to happen."
Neighbour Jim Gibson, 57, said: "It's rubbish that the road is too tough for the wagons, and it will cause chaos if the council persists."
As the Observer went to press, council bosses claimed the problem had been resolved. Councillor Ann Scaife, Cabinet portfolio holder for environment and cleansing, said: "The potholes in the Knuzden road were causing damage to council vehicles and contravening health and safety regulations. Happily, this has been resolved and the service resumed."
But Mr Best was adamant the council had not clarified its position. He said: "They've not had the courtesy to explain their intentions. They thought they could get away with it and everyone would come into line."