'˜Luton bin changes are bringing us rats'

Residents of High Town flats are up in arms as they claim that alternate week bin collections have led to an area overrun with rats - just weeks after the new scheme started.

The bins at the Berkeley Path flats
The bins at the Berkeley Path flats

Neighbours living in Berkeley Path, near Boyle Close, were left alarmed this week when they spotted rats coming out of pathway drains and rummaging through their bins.

Residents argue that they do not have enough bins to collect rubbish and recycling and that the situation has now been made worse by the fortnightly collections - excess bags have to be left at the side of bins, which they say Luton Borough Council “refuses to collect”.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, alleged: “The rat problem started on Monday.

“They have been going through the bins, collecting what they want, and taking it back down to their nests.

“My neighbour spotted it and she’s got children, two little’uns. It’s not very hygienic.

“Another neighbour thought they heard one scratching in the bin chutes.

“The bins are on the path right next to the drain and the smell is bringing the rats.”

The resident claimed that a lack of bins is not the only problems the community has faced, as she told the News that their bin chutes keep getting blocked, arguing that being built in the 70s, the narrow chutes are “not designed” to deal with the scale of modern day waste.

She claimed that the council informed her a few years ago that the chutes couldn’t be widened, but that it was suggested they could get large waste bins for the estate, such as one for glass and one for recycling.

She alleged: “That was four or five years ago but we’ve still got nothing. Some of our bins have gone missing too, so there is nothing at the bottom of the chutes - just mess.

“They used to come once and week and now the council say they won’t take ‘side waste’. It’s not realistic.”

A Luton Borough Council spokeswoman, said: “As a result of the size of the waste chutes at this location, bins from communal areas are collected twice weekly. Waste from the houses is collected every other week. This month, residents in houses in this area had black bag waste collected on the 9 and 23 October, with recyclables collected on the 2 and 16.

“During this period, some residents had left additional waste in separate bags on top of the bins.

“We have a robust, carefully-managed and proactive rat baiting programme in operation throughout the town. We continue to provide free treatments for rats in residential/owner occupied premises.

“A council officer did visit the site earlier today (October 23) to investigate further.”