GREENOCK residents are kicking up a stink after their wheelie bins were taken away by the council.

The residents, who live at a tenement in Brachelston Street, are furious after their black bins were removed.

The move has left them with nowhere to store their general waste including food and sanitary waste, and forced to keep rotting rubbish in their homes.

Bosses at the local authority say they removed the bins following complaints that they were causing an obstruction in the street.

But residents dispute this and say the wheelie bins have been situated in the same place - on the pavement across the road from the building - for years without any trouble.

Resident Francis Gurney, 65, says the council is creating an 'environmental health hazard'.

He said: "They're expecting us to keep rubbish such as rotten food, dirty nappies and sanitary products in our homes all week.

"You have to put that kind of rubbish out straight away."

The residents received a letter from the council which stated that the bins were causing an obstruction to pedestrians and that fly tipping around the bins was also a problem.

They have been given plastic sacks which will be collected weekly.

But Francis added: "We are getting the blame for something that is beyond our control.

"The council have taken it upon themselves to blame the tenants for fly tipping when it's nothing to do with us."

Fellow resident Michael Anderson, is urging the council to return the bins.

He said: "Storing our waste in our homes for seven days is not the answer and the council needs a re-think.

"Unless they provide personal plastic bins for us to store our bin bags in until collection day, scenes that we saw recently, when bin bags were dumped on the street and ripped open by gulls, rats and foxes may become a regular occurrence."

Robert McCabe, who also lives in the building, says he fills three bin bags a week.

He said: "It's not hygienic to keep rubbish inside for that length of time.

"The bins were not causing an obstruction - I have lived here for seven years and they have always been there."

Another resident, Jenny Macdonald, 28, added: "I think it's disgusting to have to keep your rubbish inside, especially with the heat we've had."

A spokesman from Inverclyde Council said the bins were removed following complaints.

He said: "We received complaints from neighbours that wheelie bins were being left out and not taken back into properties.

"The complaint was that they were causing a blockage on the pavement and that they were frequently being knocked over.

"Our environmental services team monitored the area to find out if what they were being told was right and their survey confirmed it was.

"We wrote to the residents on 7 June and again on 21 June about the issues.

"The issue is not unique and does come up now and again when the property can’t accommodate wheelie bins being moved in and out.

"In those circumstances customers would have to revert to placing black bags out to be collected.

"Bins being stored on the pavement can be a target for vandalism or theft and can cause obstruction to pedestrians in particular those who may be pushing prams or in wheelchairs."