RESIDENTS in Broadgreen say the streets have been infested by rats since Swindon council ditched its weekly refuse collection - and say these pictures prove it.

Fed-up residents took to the streets this week to rid the area of fly-tipped rubbish and rats themselves.

The group worked tirelessly from 10am to create a mountain of rubbish beside Fleming Way in protest at Swindon Council's move to fortnightly bin collections.

Salisbury Street resident Karen Leakey headed the group.

She said: "We are disgusted with the bin service provided by the council - we have seen filthier streets and have been plagued by rats.

"The smell of two-week old bins is grotesque and if it's like that now imagine the stench in the summer.

"We want our weekly collections back and we want them back now."

As well as mattresses and abandoned buggies among the festering piles of rubbish the team found more than a few dead rats along the route.

Tony Wilson, of Salisbury Street, said: "We have been plagued by rats round here since the rubbish collections changed.

"I have found rats in my kitchen and garden. My house is so clean I shouldn't have to live like that.

"I heard Karen was doing this collection and I thought if it's come to the residents having to do the council's work I may as well help all I can."

The 75-year-old said he fears this collection isn't the last.

He said: "People talk about Broadgreen as a run-down area. Here we are doing all we can to turn that reputation around and with very little in the way of help from the council.

"Picking up rubbish is their job, not ours."

Karen agrees. She said: "We have a large Goan population around here with big families all living in one house - as is their culture.

"They create more than one wheelie bin full of rubbish in a week so why should they have to put up with a substandard council collection - why should any of us?"

Karen and her team are recruiting for more residents to help with future clean-up events.

To volunteer contact Karen on 01793 612842 or send an email to