Angry residents in Birmingham have been forced to clear bags of maggot-ridden rubbish from their owns streets as a city-wide strike by bin collection workers enters a fifth week.
Birmingham’s refuse collectors have refused to do the council bin rounds since late June in a dispute over changes to pay and working practices.
People have taken to collect the rubbish themselves as residents bemoan the stink with the industrial action set to continue over the next month.
“It’s like a buffet for the rats,” volunteer Adbullah Rehman told ITV News as he bemoaned open bags that have left nappies and rotting food lying on the streets filled with wheelie bins and black bags.
“Both parties need to understand that people’s health is at stake.”
Birmingham City Council and the United union have both acknowledged the frustrations of residents.
But reports of a possible imminent agreement late last week remain unfulfilled.
The unions said bin collection workers face annual wage cuts of up to £6,000 and warn more than 100 cleaning jobs could be axed.
The council said it has had to change worker practices and pay after seeing its budget reduced by a quarter since 2010 amid national government cuts.
It has employed private contractors to collect the rubbish with the aim of reaching all of the city’s 40 wards by the end of the week.