Thousands of pounds have been spent tackling a “rat problem” in Faifley caused by residents dumping rubbish in the wrong bins – or in no bin at all.

Tenants at Langfaulds Crescent, Bryson Street and Lawmuir Crescent have contacted the community council concerned about the state of bins in backcourts.

Knowes Housing Association has forked out significant sums of money to control the problem and wants people to responsibly dispose of rubbish.

There have been reports of residents throwing bags into the backcourts and not into a bin, while some have put them into blue recycling bins – meaning they will not be uplifted by the council because they are deemed “contaminated”.

Pierre DeFence, the director of Knowes Housing Assocation, said: “The issue is not so much the council, as the people. It’s catch 22. There’s more rubbish than space in the bins.

“They should take them to the dump. There are clearly some irresponsible people assuming people will take it away.

“There have been incidences of rats. and that’s West Dunbartonshire Environmental Health that are dealing with that.

“The rat problem is a result of people flinging rubbish out the back. It’s easy to blame the council but their rules are strict. If recycling bins are contaminated they won’t take those away.

“We are spending a huge amount of money on doing stuff for people they should be doing themselves.”

The association has contracted West Dunbartonshire Council Environmental Health to deal with infestations. It also spends £20,000 a year for a skip to collect rubbish.

Mr DeFence said: “It’s a concern. We’ve had reports of rats going into people’s houses which we are dealing with.

“Environmental health have been contracted to deal with the rats. We are talking about thousands of pounds.

“We are picking up the tab from a public health perspective., just to keep that under control. There’s no easy answer.”

Faifley Community Council has called for a meeting with Knowes Housing Assocation and West Dunbartonshire Council to ensure the problem is being dealt with.

Chairwoman Claire Gallagher said: “It’s apparent that some people in these areas do not know how to recycle and are placing household rubbish items in blue bins, which are not being picked up by bin men as per council policy.

"Knowes Housing Assocation has been very proactive in terms of cleaning bin areas, however, this is not something that they can continue to do.

“The problem has reached a stage that there are now rat sightings being reported in Lawmuir Crescent.

“We will be requesting an immediate meeting with environmental services and Knowes Housing to see how we can address this problem.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Community waste officers will monitor the area to ensure that household refuse is disposed of in the appropriate bins provided. by the council.

“The council’s environmental health team have received complaints of rodents and have been out treating the area.”