Rotting waste and rats in rancid Sheffield garden

Rubbish in a Sheffield garden
Rubbish in a Sheffield garden
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Rotting waste spilling out of stinking bin bags and giant rats scurrying round the debris.

This is just one of the hundreds of rubbish-strewn house gardens plaguing Sheffield estates.

Sheffield Council has received 1,337 complaints about filthy gardens in the last year, The Star can reveal today.

Nearly 650 letters were sent to owners and tenants ordering them to clear up – with 109 legal notices served on those who failed to do so.

And council clean-up teams have been forced to step in to clear waste piling up in 271 of the gardens.

The cost of the clearances was £20,000 – all of which was passed on to the householders.

A neighbour, who lives next to the rancid garden in Norfolk, Park said: “The mess is just absolutely awful. There’s all sorts of rubbish from cans to sacks full of rubbish. How can you let it get that bad?

“I think the whole mess is getting me really ill. I’ve seen big rats scurrying about my garden.”

The clean-up figures emerged after the Federation of Small Businesses’ in the city issued a call to arms to end the ‘plague’ of litter and graffiti it claimed was costing millions in lost investment.

Sheffield Council said it always aimed to support householders in the first instance but was not afraid to take a hard line approach when necessary.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment, said: “When it comes to private gardens – and indeed all private property – we can and do take action where the levels of rubbish are likely to give rise to a public health issue, such as vermin or bad smells.

“In these cases we contact the householders and help them to sort out the problem quickly, giving appropriate support where necessary.

“If the problem still isn’t cleared up, we’ll issue a notice giving them a timescale for the clean-up.

“If they then fail to comply, we send in a clearance team and the householder would have to pay them, plus our costs – which can be substantial.”

Coun Lodge added that in extreme cases the council would serve a written warning and then a notice, with those failing to complying facing prosecution and a court fine.

n Do you know a litter or rubbish hotspot? Contact robert.cumber1@jpress.co.uk