Members of volunteer litter picking groups are being left disheartened as selfless work is trashed by disrespectful residents.

Volunteers with Keep Blackburn Tidy carry out litter-picking duties in their spare time, helping to keep neighbourhoods in the borough free from rubbish.

Over the last few weeks, there have been incidences, particularly in Mill Hill, in which clean-up operations have been thwarted by inconsiderate residents who have littered and fly-tipped in areas the volunteers work hard to cleanse.

And councillors from the borough are now condemning these actions.

Councillor for Mill Hill and Moorgate, Damian Talbot, said: "It's incredibly frustrating to see fly-tipping after the amount of work that has been done by these volunteers and it's disappointing that some residents think it's acceptable to do this.

"The council cleans up waste on a regular basis but they have limited budgets and that's why we are supportive of groups such as Keep Blackburn Tidy.

"We want to see places like Mill Hill looking cleaner and parts of the area have already been much improved.

"It's important that people work together as a community to do this."

Member of Keep Blackburn Tidy, Liz Crook, said it was heartbreaking to see the state of one alley in Mill Hill.

She said: "Only a few weeks ago volunteers worked hard to clear it and now it’s back to a rubbish dump again."

Wayne Dixon, who works relentlessly for Keep Blackburn Tidy said: "It's disheartening. I and a few volunteers worked hard with tackling the main areas and bad back alleys of Mill Hill a few weeks ago and now they're full of rubbish again.

"Despite efforts, other litter-picking groups are having the same problems; they've cleaned up a lot of back alleys and weeks later residents will dump household waste and stuff that should be going to the tip.

"Keep Blackburn Tidy have done wonders in the town and need as much support, respect and recognition as possible."

Heidi Whittle-Pugh of Keep Blackburn Tidy, said despite some people ruining volunteer efforts, the work they do is having a huge impact in the community.

She said: "It's not just about keeping the streets clean, the cleaner areas being created are making people feel mentally better about themselves and it's encouraging people to go outside and exercise."

Since Keep Blackburn Tidy was set up in May, the group has collected over 4000 bags of rubbish and has 1500 members, with around 100 active regular litter pickers.

They also have the full backing of the local authorities, with many councillors taking to the streets themselves to assist the volunteers with their litter picks.

Cllr Talbot, who accompanied volunteers on a litter pick last month, added: "The volunteers have been applauded across social media and in council meetings. Their work is appreciated by the wider community but unfortunately there are a small minority who don't care.

"I would encourage residents to pull together to combat fly-tipping and not let the selfishness of the minorities undermine the hard work these volunteers are doing."