RUBBISH from businesses is blowing around Barrow town centre and adding to the mess on the streets, a meeting has been told.

Commercial waste is mounting up at the back of shops but councillors have blamed commercial waste collectors for the problem.

Household rubbish from residents is collected by council contractors but businesses have their waste taken away by private firms, councillors heard.

Council leader Dave Pidduck said commercial containers were often “so full” that the lids did not close properly which added to the litter problem.

“The lid should actually be down and locked properly so we don’t have this,” said Cllr Pidduck, the Labour councillor for Hindpool.

“At the end of the day, all we can do is persuade businesses to protect their rubbish and to ensure it’s collected properly.”

Conservative opposition leader Cllr Rory McClure said commercial waste companies were to blame, rather than the council contractors.

Cllr McClure said: “I’ve noticed parts of the town centre are in a pretty shocking state. There’s just rubbish strewn around. I’m not naming names but whoever is collecting waste for businesses does not seem to be collecting it on a regular basis.

“I don’t think it’s down to the actual businesses who put the waste out. The contractor who is picking the waste up for them is obviously not fulfilling the contract.”

Phil Huck, the council’s executive director, stressed that the issue was nothing to do with the council’s contract for residents’ refuse, which has come under fire in the past.

Mr Huck said: “I am absolutely convinced that a significant amount of the rubbish blown around Barrow town centre comes from commercial premises. I have had this issue with a number of businesses and so have the council’s Street Care team. I see it on a regular basis, particular after a weekend. If it’s a premises serving food, you often see 1,300-litre bins at the rear of premises, piled high with cardboard, rubbish and half-a-dozen seagulls enjoying the leftovers.”

Mr Huck said if Barrow is to crack the problem businesses needed to complain to their waste collector until they get “rat proof” bins that are properly secure.