The stinky horror alleyway in Gorton causing a nightmare
Residents living next to an alleyway in east Manchester that has become a huge illegal dumping ground say their lives are being made unbearable.
The smell from the rat-infested pile of rubbish in the ginnel behind their homes is so bad they are having to keep windows closed even in the recent sweltering temperatures they say.
Whilst it has also been the scene of two fires, the most recent occurring earlier this week which locals say has left them frightened.
The alleyway runs behind two rows of terraced houses on Mountbatten Street and Odette Street in Gorton, just off Mount Road near the border with Longsight.
Those living nearby said it has been repeatedly piled high with rubbish for a period of around 18 months now.
They say as soon as council staff remove it, more always appears within a matter of days.
When the M.E.N visited today the alleyway was piled high with rotting bags of rubbish, the remnants of a sofa, pieces of wood, carpet and other household waste.
One resident said she suspected it was being used as a dumping ground by people carrying out house clearances.
And those being forced to live next to it said it was becoming a living nightmare.
Robert Carter, 58,, who has lived on Mountbatten Street for 28 years said: "It's horrible.
"It's like having a dustbin open in your house all day every day.
"You can't open the windows, even in this weather because the smell is so bad. I don't know how to describe it.
"The cat keeps bringing rats in.
"It's so unhygienic.
"Some of us can't get out of the back of our houses. I've been having to keep my own rubbish in my garden as they can't get to my bins to empty them.
"A couple of months ago I couldn't even open my gate because there was a settee and all sorts there.
"We don't know who's doing it. But it must be proper fly-tippers because its far too much rubbish to be from the houses.
"To be fair the council do come and clear it but it's like a cycle.
"As soon as it's gone it's like an invitation to dump more.
"They need to catch whoever is doing it to put a stop to it once and for all."
Residents said the latest mound of rubbish had been there for around two weeks, but the MEN understands council staff removed six skips full just last week.
Alongside the rubbish, there have also been several fires reported in the alleyway.
The latest occurred early on Tuesday morning locals said.
The M.E.N has seen pictures of flames lapping up the walls either side of the alleyway, where the rubbish is currently situated before the fire service came and extinguished it.
A mum living on the street, who did not want to be named, said: "It is awful.
"It smells so bad.
"There are rats everywhere.
"I pay my council tax every month and this is what we get.
"I have asthma and my son has asthma and the effect this mess is having on us is terrible.
"Even with the heat we have kept all the windows closed.
"And then we wake up on Tuesday and its on fire.
"I think I may have to move soon, I don't think I can stay here anymore."
One family said they had to flee their home during Tuesday's fire.
"This is the second time, there was one two months ago. But that one was at night this one was in the morning" a mum said.
"Thankfully it was a school day and people were awake otherwise who knows what would have happened.
"It's frightening, my son wakes up in the night now scared thinking there's a fire.
"The smell and the rats are making us sick as well. It's so, so bad."
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) confirmed they tackled a blaze in the alleyway on Tuesday.
A spokesperson said: "Just before 6.40am on the morning of Tuesday 7 September, one fire engine from Gorton was called to reports of a fire in the passageway behind a domestic property on Mountbatten Street, Manchester.
“The crew attended quickly and extinguished the fire, which involved a large quantity of rubbish, using one hose reel.
“Firefighters were at the scene for around half an hour.”
The MEN understands that the council is aware of the issue in the area and is currently working to build evidence and crackdown on repeat offenders.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, the city council's Executive Member for Neighbourhoods said: "The people who have carried out this act of fly-tipping are a disgrace.
"It shows such a callous disregard for the feelings and wellbeing of residents who are exposed to this rubbish.
"As a Council we are proactive, issuing tough fines and seizing vehicles we know are involved in fly-tipping, as well as monitoring areas where rubbish is frequently dumped.
"However, no one should have to live with this on their doorstep.
"We are aware of issues relating to this location and are working with the community and residents to secure a long-term solution.
"In the meantime, we will ensure any waste is removed as quickly as possible.
"I would urge anyone who has information about who could have done this to contact the Council so they can be rightfully prosecuted."