'Rat hotels' on streets as bin crisis deepens
11 August 2017 National News
Mountains of rubbish – dubbed “rat hotels” – are festering on Birmingham’s streets despite council promises to clear every part of the city.
Sky News has filmed dozens of rats feasting on piles of rubbish in the latest evidence that Birmingham’s ongoing bin crisis has become a major public health hazard.
Birmingham City Council had promised to clear the backlog of uncollected bin bags by Friday.
Javed Iqbal, of the Alum Rock Community Forum, told Sky News: “It is disgusting, dangerous and we won’t stand for it any longer.
“People are taking rubbish to the tips themselves but it isn’t enough – it stinks.
“The council and the unions are as bad as each other. It has to be sorted out.”
The long-running dispute between binmen and Birmingham City Council has meant some areas have not had bin collections for six weeks.
If anything, the row over cuts and changes to the service deepened this week after unions revised strike times, which will result in even fewer official collections being made.
Father-of-four Wayne McLeod showed Sky News the dozens of black smear marks on his walls where he kills the large flies that invade his Small Heath home every day.
The 42-year-old forklift truck driver said: “Every morning I have another six invading my home.
“Those mammoth flies that we have are carrying infection from month-old garbage.
“They are coming in and piercing my skin and I have pus coming out of my hands.”
Ian Sharpe, who runs Environmental Pest Control in the north of Birmingham, told Sky News the piles of rubbish are a feeding bonanza for rodents and other vermin.
He said: “They can eat and drink until their heart’s content so it is like a rat hotel.
“A happy rat is going to breed more often and their litters are going to be bigger.
“They can have anything up to 14 babies in any one go and in five weeks those rats are sexually active.”
Birmingham City Council claims to have collected bins on more than 75% of roads – a claim branded as “lies” by many residents.
The strike action is expected to continue each working day until 1 September at least.