An alleyway in Preston has become so filthy with fly-tipped waste that residents are beginning to fear for their health.
The forsaken ginnel, situated behind New Hall Lane and between Plevna Road and Brindle Street, has become a magnet for fly tippers.
And now residents are campaigning to have it gated off to stop the rubbish.
READ MORE>>> Fly-tipping doubles in Preston in a year
Residents say the first load of waste was dumped in the alley around two years ago. Since then, the problem has reached “crisis point” with dozens of black bin bags dumped in the alley every month.
In addition to household waste, a “lorry-load” of building materials and inert waste was dumped two weeks ago. Just this week, a mattress appeared overnight.
A trail of waste litters the length of the alley, with soiled nappies, scraps of food, used clothes and broken furniture left scattered across the ground.
Some residents said access to the alley from their backyards had been blocked by “mountains of rubbish” that had recently been dumped next to their gates.
Jan Woods, 55, has rented a flat on New Hall Lane since 2013. In the five years since she moved to the area from Ashton, Jan has witnessed the alley behind her home descend into one of the city’s most notorious grot spots.
Jan said: “It’s disgusting. Absolutely vile.
“Not even the bin men will touch it. They said it’s not their problem.
“This is the fantastic view I have of my back alley”, said Jan, gesturing to a ripped bin bag oozing with leftover food.
“Look at the mountains of rubbish. It makes me feel sick. Physically sick.
“The sight of it, the smell. Just the thought of it left here for weeks makes me feel ill.
“In the summer, the smell becomes intolerable. As you can see, there are dirty nappies and bits of food everywhere.”
But fly tippers are not the only pests turning this alley into a no-go-zone.
“We have rats every night now. Sometimes you can even seen them in broad daylight. It’s an open invitation for them.
“All the bin bags have been ripped open by cats and this has exposed the contents of the bags. The rats are having a field day with all the food.”
Jan first began reporting the waste to the authorities in August 2017. In the past six months, she has raised the issue with Preston City Council on five separate occasions. She said the authority is aware of the problem and has cleared the waste in the past.
But Jan said it can take weeks before a street cleansing team arrives on the scene in response to her pleas.
She said: “This is the view that greets me every morning and every evening. It’s been here since Christmas, which was the last time the council cleaned everything up.
“The last time I reported it was in the run up to Christmas. It took three weeks for them to come and clear it all. Within a couple of weeks it all started over again.
“Most of what you see here has been around since the start of the year. But more and more rubbish is being dumped every week.”
Jan wants to see gates erected at both ends of the alley to prevent non-residents from accessing the area.
She said gates have been installed in nearby streets to tackle similar incidents of fly tipping and antisocial behaviour.
“It’s become a dumping ground and I can’t see it stopping unless the council puts up gates like they have in other streets.
“This is a recurring issue and I’m up to my eye teeth with cleaning it up and calling the council to clean it up.
“The solution? Gates. I’ve been told in the past that there is not enough funds to pay for the gates. But what other options do we have?
“This is quickly becoming a health and hygiene concern and it just doesn’t feel like anyone is taking it seriously.”
Gates ‘won’t solve the issue’
Preston City Council said erecting gates “would not solve the issue” because some of the mess is created by residents themselves.
According to the council, residents need to take more responsibility for their own household waste.
A spokesman said: “It’s disappointing to see an alley in this state not long after it was cleared.
“Unfortunately some residents don’t take responsibility for their household waste and leave extra items or bags beside their bins, which they are aware won’t be collected by the crews.
“In these instances erecting gates wouldn’t solve the issue.
“Larger households can make a request for larger bins to deal with extra waste which may help alleviate the issue - this would be assessed on an individual basis.
“We also offer a bulky waste collection service, but often find these items are also dumped in alleyways. This again spoils the environment for those residents who take pride in where they live.
“We would encourage anyone to report fly tipping incidents via our website, particularly if they have evidence tracing those responsible.
“Without the help of the public reporting these incidents the team are unable to respond.”