It’s only been ten minutes since I stepped onto a Birmingham city center street and a passing driver yelled, “Disgusting!” The object of his anger is not difficult to detect or smell.
I’m standing near a bright yellow Dumpster that’s almost doubled in height with piles of black sacks and overflowing dirt balanced precariously on top. Locals say it was laid on double yellow lines about a month or two ago and is littered with everything from construction debris to food containers.
Discarded ladders are dumped next to it and rubbish is spilled on the road. Welcome to Sladefield Road in Ward End, where the bin has been almost ironically abandoned in front of a misspelled ‘No Littering’ sign.
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Residents are sick of waking up to the mound of rubbish, which is just yards from Sladefield Nursery School. They say they have seen packs of rats running down an alley to feast on the riches they find before slipping away.
One woman said: “I called the council and they said they will look into it. We had a rat infestation in our house because we are so close.”
“It’s horrible, it’s getting worse. I go to work at 6 in the morning and I can see a rat.” Another local said: “It’s been about a month. It attracts rodents. During the day, packs of rats scurry around the area.”
Abrar Khan, from nearby AK Travel and Money Transfer, said: “It doesn’t look good in front of my shop. I reported it to ‘Fix My Street’. I tried to find the container company but couldn’t.”
A driver who passed the container on his way to work said he had asked if anyone knew who it belonged to, but was left blank. He said: “There is no logo or number on the bin. The rubble is a habitat for rats because people have dumped their household waste.”
A man named Alex said: “There are so many rats. There is rubbish here, it grows and grows. My God, when it’s quiet, you can see the rats during the day. They’re big, it’s horrible.”
Birmingham City Council has been contacted for comment.
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