Locals living amongst 'plague of rats and flies' after skips replace bins outside homes

Tower block residents in Callow Place, Gleadless, daren't open their windows or risk flies and rats entering their homes after Sheffield City Council installed skips outside their front doors

24/10/2021 Amber Oconner

Tenants say they don't dare open their windows as they are living amongst "a plague of rats and flies" after a council installed skips outside their front doors.

The rubbish chutes previously used inside a group of high rise flats in a Sheffield suburb have been closed by the local authority causing an horrendous smell and encouraging the unwanted critters.

One resident at Callow Place, Gleadless, said flies are crawling into people's "mouths, noses and eyes".

Another told Yorkshire Live : "I’m absolutely fed up with the rubbish bins, it is a plague of rats and flies."

He said as well as the "millions of flies", tenants have to put up with the smell of the bins, which was particularly bad during the summer.

"They stink awful. If you live on the first floor you can barely open your window," he added.

The man also said flytipping is out of control in the area.

He explained: "People come from everywhere and dump their rubbish here. It's absolutely outrageous the amount of rubbish."

Another tenant said he has seen transit vans from construction sites visiting several times before, arriving in the early hours to dump rubble in the bins.

But he said the problem has improved since the council installed signs announcing fines for anyone caught.

Despite living high up the block, he also suffers because of the smell and flies.

The man said he had tried buying protective measures, but still often ends up with flies landing in his food if he opens a window.

He was also concerned for his elderly and disabled neighbours, worrying they might struggle to carry bin bags outside.

Though he didn't know why, another tenant said people sometimes throw rubbish from their windows, aiming for the bins.

Everyone interviewed said they hope the council will open the chutes again.

It is understood they were first closed during the pandemic when workmen could not clean them, but the council have since announced plans to close chutes across the city.

Councillor Paul Wood, executive member for housing, previously said he was aware properties had contacted housing services.

He said: “At Callow, we have been told of four other addresses that are experiencing fly issues but the type, cause and extent of the problem is yet to be assessed.

“These addresses have been referred to environmental services for inspection and appropriate treatment.

“The process for the closure is still to be finalised and will be done in consultation with residents but the initial programme is scheduled to start in January 2022 and will include four high rise blocks, the three Deer Park towers in Stannington and Hanover tower at Exeter Drive.

"The remaining 20 tower blocks will be part of a future programme delivered over the next two to five years.

“We are working through an appropriate structure survey and whether there is any general advice we can give to residents.”

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