RATS were spotted near a communal bin store at a site in Bolton after a hoard of rubbish built up there for weeks.

Bags of waste and boxes were left overflowing near flats off Newport Street, leading to sightings of rodents running around in the vicinity.

The amount of litter that built up led to businesses expressing their concerns about the situation.

Manager of charity Caritas, based on Newport Street, Bernadette Keegan, says rats have been seen in the area.

And she said that the smell from the waste was "horrendous".

Bernadette said: “The area has been overflowing with kitchen waste, cardboard and other domestic waste.

“There were loads of boxes on the pavement as well.

“It was badly contaminated with rats openly running around the area.

“It was an absolute disgrace.

“All of the businesses around here are getting concerned about it.

“It really is a health hazard. The smell from it was horrendous.”

Bernadette added that the charity left a container in the area but moved it to a secure place as other people were using it for residential waste.

Bolton Council says the rubbish has now been cleared up and Bernadette hopes a long-term solution can be found for the problem to avoid another situation in the future where waste is overflowing.

Bernadette added: “I am hoping this will be resolved now and it does not happen again.”

The local authority is in talks with the property owner, who has not been named, about the issue.

A council spokeswoman added: “The bins have been emptied, and we are working with the property owner and manager to help tenants recycle and manage their waste better.”