FAMILIES living in a ten storey tower block are sharing just two bins with another block of 21 flats.

Hundreds of people have been left with rubbish piling up outside their homes due to a dispute between waste collection contractors Veolia and Housing Management company Notting Hill Genesis.

Veolia claims it has not been paid for bin hire for months and has taken the decision to remove giant communal bins - known as paladins - leaving just one in place for each of Elizabeth Tower and Alexandra Court, off Baxter Avenue, Southend.

Notting Hill Genesis blamed an “administration error”.

One resident, of Alexandra Court for more than 30 years, said: “We have been left with just one paladin for 23 households and the only reason for that is because it would be an environmental health issue if they were to leave us with no bins at all.

“I want to know why we are paying service rates when they can’t even provide us with bins.

“I want to know why the company turns over more than £537million a year but yet they can’t pay £15,000 for our waste disposal - it’s a drop in the ocean.”

The issues unfolded more than two weeks ago and is causing concern among a number of residents.

A resident at Elizabeth Tower, in Baxter Avenue, added: “We have been told that Notting Hill Genesis owe Veolia £15,000.

“In the meantime, bins are piling up. It’s terrible.”

A 70-year-old tenant is also frustrated over the lack of communication with residents about why they no longer have green waste bins to use.

She added: “I don’t understand why I am paying services charges, which should include refuse, when this is happening.

“I am worried that if the problem isn’t sorted by Christmas, it’s going to get out of control with the amount of extra rubbish people accumulate during Christmas time.

“We can’t got on like this for much longer.”

A Veolia spokesperson confirmed: “For a few months now, Veolia haven’t received any payment for the hired bins and we have removed the bins following numerous discussions with the client.”

A spokesman for Notting Hill Genesis said: “We are aware of the removal of the bins at Elizabeth House and Alexandra Court, which was the result of an administration error.

“We are processing payment to Veolia now and hope that they will be able to replace the bins.

“In the meantime, we will arrange to remove the rubbish that has built up while the bins have been missing.

“We’re sorry for the inconvenience to residents while we resolved the problem.”