RESIDENTS in Brighton and Hove have been left with over spilling recycling bins as the refuse collection has fallen behind schedule.

They claim seagulls are using their street as a feeding ground - swooping down from the skies and picking at overflowing rubbish.

The chairman of the Tenants’ Association of Mayflower Square says enough is enough - and he claims it’s been almost a month since some bins have been emptied.

Owen Spence, who lives in New England Street, called the council five times before recycling refuse was collected after three and a half weeks of waiting.

One bin at the front entrance was still left unemptied on January 5, which Mr Spence declared as a danger to visually impaired residents.

He said: “The bins were chock-a-block and I was getting worried about Christmas when people have more rubbish.

“We had a similar problem with household rubbish 18 months ago.

“I’m very worried we’ll get rats and mice again.

“Seagulls ripped bags open and rubbish is all over the square.”

Mike Turner, press officer for the GMB Union, told The Argus the situation has arisen because the contractor used by Brighton and Hove City Council, Veolia, has “failed miserably”.

These claims were denied by the council.

He said: “Veolia didn’t put in a planning application for a license to open on bank holidays over the Christmas period and New Year, which they have done in past years. The service is working behind because of this.

“They have caused the problem which is now having an impact on residents’ collection. It is not the fault of the frontline staff or the council.

“Crews are now working consecutive Saturdays, days which are not the norm, because of the failings of the contractor.

“They’re trying to assist the public and pick up mess because someone else is not doing their job properly.”

Brighton and Hove City Council has denied this is the case. A spokeswoman said: “The current planning permission does not allow us to open the site three days in a year, and these are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

A Veolia spokesperson added: “For 2017 the facility was open on the Sunday before Christmas and reopened on Wednesday morning however it was closed over the public bank holidays.”