BINS filled with rubbish are being left to rot in the hot summer sun for almost a month because the council said it can’t afford to collect them, a councillor has claimed.

Residents in Baxenden usually have their bins collected every other Thursday, but last week’s strike meant they were not emptied.

Now they have been told they must wait another two weeks before they are finally emptied – a total of 27 days since they were last collected on June 26.

Baxenden councillors Terry Hurn and Kath Pratt have been in touch with the council.

Coun Hurn said: “Coun Pratt spoke to an official from the council on Thursday, and was able to ascertain that there will be no further collections for those affected until their next scheduled bin collection, which will be on Thursday, July 24.

“This means those people who were caught up in the dispute through no fault of their own, and after paying for the service, will have to put up with over-flowing bins, smelling and open to the elements, creating numerous problems especially during the height of summer.”

Coun Hurn said a council official said it would cost £1,500 to send a team of refuse collectors to collect the bins before July 24.

He added: “However, no mention was made of the savings the council made by not paying the wages of those who were on strike in the first place.

Coun Paul Cox, cabinet member for environmental services, said: "Unfortunately, following on from the recent industrial action on July 10 an insufficient number of trained drivers and operatives were available to complete all refuse collection rounds.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this caused residents.

“However on the next due collection date residents can present up to four extra bags for collection when a full normal service will resume.”