Concerns about the proximity of the bins to the seats on Main Street were raised at a meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council.
"It’s not healthy having people sitting next to those bins stuffed full of chip papers,” said chairman Geoffrey Stewart.
He suggested the bins could be moved towards the shops, away from the seats.
Cllr David Donaldson pointed out: “Those bins were positioned where they would be near the seats because they were used mostly by people eating fish and chips. Some people will not walk any distance to dispose of their rubbish.”
But Cllr Ailsa Shiel said she had received several complaints about the current situation.
"People don’t go on holiday to sit next to a dirty dustbin,” she said. “It’s appalling when they’re over-flowing.”
Cllr Stewart added: “Those bins are absolutely stinking.”
It was agreed to discuss the issue further at the next meeting on January 4.
Councillors also discussed a suggestion of putting hanging baskets on the shop fronts on Main Street.
Cllr Donaldson raised concern about the hardiness of real plants when there are winds off the sea.
Cllr Matthew Stephenson was opposed to artificial plastic flowers because of the environmental impact.
Shops are to be contacted to canvas opinions on maintenance and bracket installations and also what plants might stand up to the weather.
They thanked Mark Nelson who had kindly cleaned all the headstones and church brickwork.
Meanwhile, the council has decided not to pursue the idea of a pet cemetery due to costs and residents’ objections. It had been seen as a potential revenue source.
Cllr Shiel called for the possibility of extra lighting on Broad Road to be looked into.
Local county councillor Guy Renner-Thompson said he would investigate but noted it may be very costly. Cllr Stewart suggested solar lights might be an option.
The council has decided to keep its precept at £16,000.
“It’s been a very difficult year for all residents,” said Cllr Sylvia Hillan. “People have been struggling enough.”