COUNCIL workers made a right mess of a weekly waste collection when they left residents of a town’s newest apartment block with overflowing bins that were kicking up a stench and attracting rats.

Residents of Newspaper House, Blackburn, some of whom pay £620 a month to rent the private apartments, complained that their communal bins, which are supposed to be emptied on a weekly basis, hadn’t been collected for at least two weeks.

This has resulted in bags of rubbish, empty food containers, pizza boxes and other household waste piling up against the side of the building, inches from the ground floor flat windows.

One concerned resident, who did not wish to be named, said it was disgusting.

He said: “It’s been like this for about two weeks.

“We pay a lot to rent these flats and this is not on.

“I’m really concerned about rats and contamination, and the smell is pretty bad too.”

Another concerned resident, said he saw dozens of rats scurrying around the bin bags over the weekend and said he thinks it’s been like that for much longer than two weeks.

He said: “You’d expect to see something like this in the 1970s during the bin strikes, not somewhere where the rent is so high.

“I feel sorry for the people on the ground floor, it smells and there’s just old food everywhere, which is attracting the rats.

“There’s ten bins there. You’d expect the council to clean it up regularly.”

HLM Property Management which is responsible for the upkeep of the building said they were aware of the situation, had been in touch with the council and were trying to get the issue resolved.

Bosses at the property firm said their bins should be emptied on a weekly basis, not fortnightly like many other properties.

Executive member for Environment at Blackburn with Darwen council, Cllr Jim Smith, said: “There’s been a bit of a mistake on the council’s part here.

“The bins have only been emptied every two weeks.

“A new member of staff responsible for that collection didn’t realise that those bins are supposed to be emptied on a weekly basis.

“I have spoken with the people responsible and have been assured that it won’t happen again.

“Someone will be out this week to make sure they’re emptied properly.”