Overflowing rubbish bins outside a Hawke's Bay business are attracting rodents and creating an eyesore for customers and retailers - including a cafe with a child's playground.
The smell and look of overflowing rubbish bins at the the Mega Park Centre in Hastings, and the attraction of rodents to them, have been at the centre of many complaints to the Hastings District Council and nearby retailers recently.
The bins, in front of Uncle Bills, Angkor Wat Kiwi Bakery and Cafe, and Fishing, Camping and Outdoors, are the property and responsibility of the landlords, Australia-based CHOF5 Hastings NZ Pty.
The company declined to comment.
Though the bins were emptied on Wednesday, they had not been since businesses opened in July. Some staff had to pick rubbish out of the locked bins with their hands to reduce the problem causing complaints.
A Hastings grandmother, who did not wish to be named, contacted Hawke's Bay Today concerned the rubbish was an unsightly health issue.
"I have been down there a couple of times and every time we have been the bins have been overflowing and on Tuesday a little four legged creature was scuttling around," she said. "Bearing in mind there is a little playground there and some people are sitting outside having coffee or whatever, I just thought it was disgusting."
The woman contacted the council, and was told she was not the first.
"The lady on the phone said they had scrawls and scrawls of complaints and so many other people have commented on it to me ... everyone said it's awful and the landlord really should take responsibility for it."
Environmental Health and Liquor Licensing team leader Tony Stothart said an officer assessed the situation and it was an eyesore, but not a health risk. "There are three locked bins on this property that require emptying and an officer spoke with the property manager on Tuesday about this matter," he said.
"We have been assured that the bins will be emptied and council will pay a follow up visit later this week."
The bins were emptied late Wednesday afternoon, but retailers said it was the first time.
Angkor Wat manager Lida Wing said before Uncle Bills opened earlier this month the mess was manageable, but had been too much since.
"When we first opened we could clean around the bins, but then it became too much of a big job so now we just have to sweep our own area each night," she said. "It's not a good environment."
Uncle Bills manager Glenys Millar said she had been forced to pick rubbish from the bin herself after so many complaints from customers.
"A lot of people thought it was our problem, but it was the landlord. It's been attended to now, just a few minutes ago."
The issue was outside the Hawke's Bay District Health Board jurisdiction, a spokeswoman said.