SPARKS were flying at Church and Milnshaw Area Council when residents were warned they could face action if they fail to make sure their rubbish is disposed of properly.
New Government regulations will allow Hyndburn Council to take action against anyone who has not taken reasonable measures to ensure their waste is passed onto an authorised person.
Householders are required to either take their waste to a licensed household waste disposal site such as Whinney Hill or ensure that a contractor employed to take rubbish away for disposal is a waste carrier registered with the Environment Agency.
Householders who don't meet the requirement, resulting in their rubbish being illegally dumped or fly-tipped, would be guilty of a new duty of care offence, which can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 on conviction.
Hyndburn Council Waste Services Officer, John Duckworth, outlined the council policy at the meeting and Councillor Ann Scaife, portfolio holder for the environment, was on hand to take questions from the floor.
Many residents said that enforcement officers were doing their jobs but cases were not being followed up and fines were not being sent out.
Councillor Scaife said Hyndburn Council was trying to get more officers to join the team. She said that under the new legislation the council could keep cash generated from fines but its role was to "inform and educate, not just fine."
Councillor Jean Battle produced pictures of backyards piled high with bin bags and rubbish and said that not enough was being done to combat the menace of fly-tipping.
She said: "This rubbish has been there for over six months. Some of these houses belong to Hyndburn Council and some to private tenants.
"We can fine the private residents but Hyndburn Council is not doing anything about this and I find it unbelievable, especially when there are people living next door to these houses.
"We want our area to be clean, we want it cleaning up and we want it to be fit for people to live in.
"We want the rubbish to be picked up as soon as it is put down, we want the council to take responsibility for its houses. I am so frustrated because this has been going on for so long and nothing has happened."
Councillor Scaife promised to look into the situation but explained that council officers could not go into backyards without permission as they could be prosecuted for trespassing.
She added: "The new legislation will enable us to go into backyards and do something about it but at the moment we can't."