Scarborough Council Introduces Seagull Proof Bin Bags
As part of its drive to reduce the nuisance problems caused by seagulls, Scarborough Borough Council is introducing seagull proof sacks to protect the rubbish bags of residents and businesses that are unable to use wheelie bins due to lack of space outside their property.In some areas of the borough, where sacks have to be used for practical reasons, such as the narrow streets in Whitby and Scarborough, bags left out for collection are being attacked by gulls, which rip them open in search of their next meal and strew rubbish on the street.
By introducing the seagull proof sacks for people to place their bagged rubbish in for collection, the council hopes to drastically reduce and ultimately eliminate such attacks.
Used by a growing number of coastal authorities and proven to be highly effective against the best endeavours of seagulls, the seagull proof sacks are tough, woven polypropylene bags with a high resistance to pecking and tearing, and a secure Velcro fastening lid.
A seagull proof sack will be issued free to each home and business within the seagull ‘hot spot’ areas together with full instructions on how to use it.
The special sacks are just one of a number of initiatives the council is introducing to combat the nuisance problems associated with gulls as a direct result of recommendations made by its Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee task group review last year.
The chairman of that task group, Cllr Godfrey Allanson, said:
“Legal methods to reduce the problems associated with gulls are limited and therefore we are taking a step by step approach, using a number of initiatives, which when combined together, should make a noticeable difference in the longer term.
"The seagull proof sacks should prevent gulls from scavenging at rubbish bags, which currently causes much inconvenience to our local residents and businesses and results in additional clean up bills for our Environmental Services team.
“Also on the agenda for this summer is the launch of a poster and signage campaign to further our education of the public about the importance of not feeding gulls.”
Cllr Andrew Jenkinson, who passionately champions measures to reduce the problems associated with gulls added:
“I am delighted that these sacks will soon be in use in our borough. While for some people no visit to the seaside would be complete without seeing and hearing seagulls, for others they are a genuine nuisance and I think anything we can legally do to reduce the problems they cause can only be a good thing for all concerned. Evidence from other local authorities in the UK that have introduced this type of sack is very encouraging and we have no reason to believe they won’t have the desired effect in our area.”
Other measures the council has already taken since the review are: writing to local commercial property owners in the problem areas advising them on netting their buildings to prevent gull nesting, adding detailed advice and information to its website and developing an online ‘gull mugging’ reporting form, which allows anyone that experiences nuisance behaviour or an attack by a seagull to report it to the council. The council will then be able to use this evidence to get a clearer picture of the scale of the problem across the borough.
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