A restaurant owner says the smell is becoming unbearable as rubbish piles up in the alleyway next to his business and claims his pleas for the council to help are going unheard.

Daniel Burzotta says in the 30 years his family has owned Il Pescatore in Queen’s Road, Southend, he has never known a problem like the one he currently faces.

The 46-year-old restaurateur says the alleyway one door down from his restaurant, where his bins have been since the Italian restaurant opened, has been swamped by rubbish in the last few months.

“The smell from these bins is awful and the overflowing waste is a health hazard,” he said. “This alley is also a fire exit and should be maintained correctly in case the need arose to use it.

“The whole of Queen’s Road stinks, it’s not getting any better and nothing is being done about it.

“I first contacted the council about four weeks ago now and I have asked them to do something numerous times, but they keep passing on the buck.”

However, the council says the bins are the responsibility of Queen’s Road businesses individual waste contractors.

Mr Burzotta added: “We’ve been here for years, and we’ve never had a problem until recently.”

He says his team have taken to using shovels to clear some of the rubbish, but their efforts have proven in vain as “two or three days later it's back to square one”.

“People are walking down Queen’s Road, seeing the rubbish in the alley, and just chucking their own rubbish in, making it worse. People are treating it as dumping ground.”

Cllr Carole Mulroney, Cabinet Member for Environment, Culture, Tourism & Planning, said: "The council works closely with the local business community to ensure their commercial waste is managed and stored in line with their waste duty of care responsibilities.

The bins in the alleyway are used by adjacent businesses in the area and are serviced by each business’s individual waste contractor. In spite of this, Veolia, the council’s household waste contractor, has emptied these bins today as a result of previously planned activity and the alleyway will be cleaned over the coming days. Some of the bins are believed to belong to businesses that are no longer open and will be permanently removed once checks have been completed.

"We encourage businesses to support their local communities by fulfilling their waste duty of care responsibilities and ensuring that their recycling and waste is stored and presented correctly so that it does not impact on their local street scene and cause a nuisance to other businesses and residents."