RESIDENTS at a sheltered housing block in Bournemouth saw their rubbish pile up as their bins went uncollected for nearly five weeks.

Around 40 pensioners living at Talbot Woods Court in Walton Road feared they would get a rat infestation after filling their bin store. They resorted to leaving their rubbish outside their front doors.

David Cook, a resident of six years, said he had phoned Bournemouth council, which manages the block, several times to ask when the waste bins would be collected.

“We’ve had this problem a couple of times before but never as bad as this. Sometimes if the binmen come and see the state of the bins they won’t empty them because they’re overflowing. If it’s a residential home, the collections should be every week.”

Mr Cook says bin workers are unable to access the bin store from outside the building as the doors are bolted on the inside – instead, they need to go into the building and use a resident’s fob key to access the store.

“The original person who emptied the bins had a fob key but he has left or been re-routed. The current binmen can get into the building but not into the bin store because it’s locked. We’ve always got to be here to let them in – it’s stupid.

“The ideal thing would be to have a lock outside the bin store, and they wouldn’t have to bother us then. We’re all paying our rent - we’re not supposed to be the caretaker as well are we?”

Margaret Baker, who has lived at Talbot Woods Court for three years, shared Mr Cook’s concerns that the pile-up of rubbish would attract pests.

“It’s not nice in there, and it’s getting worse. A couple of months ago, there was a maggot infestation and rats down here. We had people come round to fumigate the bins it was so bad.”

This summer, thousands of people in Bournemouth signed a petition calling for a return to weekly bin collections. Residents said fortnightly collections, which were introduced in April, had led to an increase in maggot infestations.

Stuart Best, street services manager, said: “We understand there have been complications with our refuse teams gaining access to the waste containers at Talbot Woods Court. All bins have now been emptied and we are working with our colleagues in Housing Landlord Services to guarantee collections in the future.”