A SICKENED couple have told of their horror of watching rats and squirrels scampering about mountains of rubbish that have been dumped in their back close.
George and Debbie Staniforth have pleaded with those responsible for tipping everything from syringe needles to household garbage into their garden to stop doing so.
The couple, who live in a tenement block in Orchard Street, Paisley, have put up with the mess for months – but have spoken out because they fear the decaying pile is now a very real health risk.
George, 47, said: “There is even an old microwave out there as well as hundreds – literally hundreds – of open binbags of rubbish. And there are squirrels and rats popping up through the filth.
“More and more bags are being thrown into the garden and it’s like a jungle. You wouldn’t even go out there with a pair of wellies on. We would like this cleared up as it’s a health hazard.”
The couple’s landlord Mike Parnis, who runs letting agent Property To Property, has sent a maintenance team in to clear the garden.
He told us: “Eighty bags of rubbish were cleared out of there. The place is worse than a pigsty and we want to get it clean and tidy.
“The challenge for me is that one person starts to throw rubbish intot the garden and this leads to other people adding to it.”
Debbie, 38, and George have lived in their flat for three years and say when the moved in the garden was fine. Frighteningly, Debbie says a fire was caused in the close last April because of the build-up of refuse.
But things have rapidly gone down hill in recent months and Renfrewshire Council’s environmental officers have paid repeated visits.
In May Kenny McCormick, who runs Kenneth Edward salon in Orchard Street and uses the same close as the Staniforths, raised the rubbish issue and appealed for help to keep the back court clean.
At that time there were hypodermic needles, pots, pans, doors, cushions and even a microwave lying dumped in the grassy back yard. Like the Staniforths, Kenny says as soon as a clean-up is carried out the rubbish simply piles back up.
A spokeswoman for Renfrewshire Council said: “We are aware of the ongoing problems at this property and following our most recent visit have ordered a ground clearance to be carried out as soon as possible.
“We have also been speaking to all the landlords and tenants to urge them to take responsibility for the back court area before this becomes a public health issue in which we would have to serve statutory notices.”