RATS are running rife because of a mountain of uncollected rubbish outside their flats according to city tenants.
The disease-spreading vermin are regularly spotted in the garden outside the Two Rivers Housing block in Gloucester’s Parkend Road, resident Natalie Feher said.
“It is disgusting. There are rat holes in the shrubbery,” she said.
The 14 flats opposite Gloucester Park shared a communal area for waste, said Miss Feher, mum to Pearl, four.
But the refuse hadn’t been collected since before Christmas due, she claimed, to a mix up over the key to the bins compound.
“They changed the lock and nobody gave out the new key,” Miss Feher said.
Gloucester City Council, which collects the flats’ refuse, did however have a key, a Two Rivers spokesman responded.
The problem was instead that the flats’ residents were generating too much rubbish, he said.
“The council allocates the number of bins to properties. We are not in control of that. Recycling facilities have been introduced to try to reduce the refuse. The difficulty is that if extra rubbish is dumped by tenants and it is not in the bins provided, then it obstructs the council’s access and they can’t get at the large skip bins to empty them,” he said.
The spokesman said Two Rivers had also held meetings to educate its tenants about recycling and correct use of the communal bins.
An alternative solution might be to allocate individual bins to each flat, to make residents equally responsible for the refuse, he said.
“We have suggested that to the council and we hope it is being considered,” he said.
But neighbour Sharon Beard, 32, said: “We’ve complained and complained and been promised that things would get fixed but nothing has ever happened.”
The mum of Emma, five, and Lucas, three, added: “The bins are awful, it’s so unhygienic and there are massive rats in there.”
Fellow tenant Emily Palmer, 21, agreed there were rats everywhere. “They’re around the outside of the building and one lady had a rat inside her flat,” said Ms Palmer.
“We also need more bins. It’s one bin for about seven and there are two bins but it’s not enough,” she said.