Heaps of rubbish are piling up and could take weeks to clear after bin men called in sick over the Christmas break.
Staff shortages has meant thousands of bins filled with festive waste were not emptied in Birmingham on Monday – meaning piles of rubbish bags have been left to rot.
With many recycling and waste collections already cancelled because of Christmas and New Year, some families’ rubbish will have to wait four weeks before being taken away.
One man who lives in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, said he had already seen rats chewing waste from split bin bags.
He said: “It’s an absolute disgrace that once again people in Birmingham are not having their rubbish collected.
“I walked outside yesterday and saw two large rats chewing at a meat carcass that had spilled out of an over-filled bin bag.
“It was like this when the bin men went on strike and now we’re being told they had to reduce collections due to staff illness.
“How convenient that so many staff go down with a bug over Christmas. It’s disgusting.”
In Sparkbrook two large bins were so overflowing with rubbish they had formed a grotesque arch of bursting black bags.
One resident said: “It’s a seriously grim sight at this time of year.
“I refuse to let my children play outside in case they get bitten by vermin or fall over the piles of rubbish. The council are hopeless.”
Birmingham City Council tweeted: “Due to staff sickness/absence some bin rounds not completed today – apologies if yours was missed. Please leave bins out.
“If not collected within 48hrs, take back in until next scheduled collection.
“Planning a trip to the tip? We know some sites have been busy post-Christmas. Our five household recycling centres are open daily this week (proof of Birmingham residence is required).”