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Rubbish! Brighton's Green council leaves residents irate as they have to stay indoors

A Green council is under fire from residents who have been forced to stay in their homes because of the appalling stench caused by a 13-day bin strike.

Householders in Brighton complain that mountainous piles of rubbish from overflowing refuse bins have become a magnet for vermin and are a serious threat to health.

Talks between the Green-led city council and the GMB union collapsed on Friday night, with a union rep accusing the council of ‘prolonging the agony of residents’.

The crisis affects 120,000 households and comes after dozens of refuse workers from the union walked out two weeks ago as part of industrial action over pay and working conditions.

A Green council is under fire from residents who have been forced to stay in their homes because of the appalling stench caused by a 13-day bin strike

Piles of uncollected bin bags, reaching 10ft high in some parts of Brighton and Hove, have formed in many streets, spilling waste on to pavements and roads across the seaside city.

Rats, foxes and seagulls have been tearing open the abandoned bags, leaving decaying refuse strewn around the smart Georgian streets. Drinks cartons, rotten food waste and nappy bags have all spilled out.

One Brighton local said: ‘We’ve had to keep all the windows shut because just opening them during the day – it’s horrible, really horrible.’

Piles of uncollected bin bags, reaching 10ft high in some parts of Brighton and Hove, have formed in many streets, spilling waste on to pavements and roads across the seaside city

Another said: ‘Absolutely disgusting, there are rats everywhere. All the streets are just covered in bins, I’ve got four or five bin bags sitting outside my home waiting to be taken.’

Another added: ‘The piles of rubbish are growing daily and the stench is absolutely appalling. The risk to public health is extremely worrying as vermin are everywhere. The GMB is hugely powerful in Brighton and Hove and it is holding the council over a barrel yet again.’

Refuse workers have been in a long battle with the council over imposing changes to daily duties and the removal of drivers from long-standing rounds without warning.

The GMB says changes in driver duties, crew variations and alterations in collections has had a ‘detrimental impact’ on the health of HGV drivers. 

A council spokesman said the pandemic and a shortage of HGV drivers had created pressure and it was felt ‘appropriate to make crew changes or move a member of staff from one round or crew to another’.

Refuse workers have been in a long battle with the council over imposing changes to daily duties and the removal of drivers from long-standing rounds without warning