Seagulls and Black Bags

As the title says, seagulls and black bags. At this months meeting of Porthleven Town Council there was a discussion on Seagulls, black bags and the rubbish left  all over the street after bin day. This is not the first time this has been brought up at the Council meeting, nor will I think be the last.

If I was a seagull I would not fly for hours endlessly looking for fish at sea if all you had to do is swoop down from your nest and open one of the many black bags to find a feast of food.  Its sort of like the seagull equivalent of home delivery. You can hardly blame the seagull for doing this if we leave all our rubbish in black bags.

The Council thought how could it help solve this, they could buy everyone a bin, but that would just be far to expensive for the Council.  They asked about Cornwall Council buying bins, but that issue is not going to be solved until 2013 when the new waste contracts for the whole of Cornwall are arranged and implemented.  So that rules out that idea too. They thought of having a campaign to encourage everyone to go an buy a bin. I mean they are not that expensive, as you can pick up one for around £10-£15. It was felt that just by having a simple campaign would not really work because if it was that simple for people to buy them, then they would have already!

What was finally agreed on was to run a campaign over this issue, but the Council will be approaching a few suppliers asking if they would give a good discount on bins if they were included in the campaign.

 This could be a way to do this, as it would be helping a local business and helping to solve this problem. It still might not work because you will still have to convince someone to go buy the bin even if its discounted! I guess there is no harm in trying though if it stops the mess left behind after collection day.


UPDATE: To all those who have mentioned Wheelie bins. If you read the post I mention bins, but state nothing can be done until the new waste contracts are signed in 2013. This is because the costs to CC to break the current ones would not be in the public interest, i.e. Cost just to much.

The Council can’t just go out and buy wheelie bins because its not written into the contracts of the contractors to mechanically lift all bins. Also, not all the contractors currently have trucks that have this facility.

That’s not to say in the future it won’t have them. We just have to wait till the contracts are up. We are still dealing with issues and contracts left over from the formation of the Unitary.

9 comments

  • Crystal Fox

    People shouldn't have to buy bins. Thats what Council tax if for. My Council have provided me with 2 wheely bins and various boxes for my waste. Cornwall need to catch up sooner rather than later….

  • Anonymous

    We have just launched a campaign of information in Looe with a Cornwall wide and Looe & Polperro specific info leaflets. It includes generic info on how to stop seagulls attacking bags and beach cleanliness for example. We have also been monitoring trade waste being put out (the night before) as domestic waste, which causes the street cleaning team to take much longer to tidy up on refuse collection day. Also we are piloting a seagull proof sack in Polperro. The dumpy bag style sack holds 3-4 black bags. They are not a ideal design but were left over from a Caradon initiative from a few years ago. Happy to give you a copy of the flyer, Press release and let you know how the seagull proof sacks go. If it proves successful we will refine the design and order a quantity. It would be more cost effective if other Councils could participate.
    Cllr Edwina Hannaford West Looe & Lansallos

  • Anonymous

    My previous council in Warwickshire provides a wheelie bin for refuse, a wheelie bin for green waste, and two boxes for recycling. CCC should wake up and get out of the dark ages and follow the example of other County Councils; we have a county where the seagulls are such an apparent problem. I understand that Penzance have wheelie bins – so why not everyone else?…I am perplexed as to why the Council are not more proactive on this issue! Giving warnings to non compliant households is not the answer!

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    To all those who have mentioned Wheelie bins. If you read the post I mention bins, but state nothing can be done until the new waste contracts are signed in 2013. This is because the costs to CC to break the current ones would not be in the public interest, i.e. Cost just to much.

    The Council can't just go out and buy wheelie bins because its not written into the contracts of the contractors to mechanically lift all bins. Also, not all the contractors currently have trucks that have this facility.

    That's not to say in the future it won't have them. We just have to wait till the contracts are up. We are still dealing with issues and contracts left over from the formation of the Unitary.

  • Anonymous

    Can the council do ANYTHING at ALL to help deal with problem owners/occupiers and tenants living in Porthleven who consistently refuse to stop feeding the gulls who nest on our roofs?(Im not calling them seagulls as they are landgulls now!) Sadly a previous leaflet drop did nothing to deter those ignorant, selfish people who are keeping this problem going!
    Ive previously had this out with a fellow councillor, about two years ago, who was about as helpful as a chocolate fireguard, and doesn't warrant speaking to again about it, as he showed to me, and a person with me at the time, that he couldnt care less about this problem! (Doesnt affect him you see!)

    Having been messed on twice, and had the clothing on my washing line ruined and my windows messed on, both on numerous occasions, I am extremely frustrated and astounded that no one can seem to do anything….or won't do anything.
    The gulls are a real PUBLIC HEALTH RISK, yet those feeding the gulls, despite neighbours pleasing with them not to, are keeping them inland and causing these problems to exacerbate.

    The nesting season is a horrific time for us as the noise and pollution from these sky rat scavenging vermin is to such a degree it has to be heard/seen to be believed. Sleepless nights (even through double glazed windows), being unable to sit out in your own garden, or open your windows for some cooling air on hot days, (and hot nights, to aid sleep), because of the excessive noise and mess is unhealthy…. being fearful for your safety when you daren't walk down the road where a young gull may be down, for fear of being swooped on by protective parent gulls…..being messed on as you sit out or walk, (happened to me twice and is not at all funny), having your laundry ruined by excrement stains, having your windows and car plastered just about every day…. all this is untenable, unacceptable and a health risk.

    It is a law to cull gulls without a license, so they are protected, yet there is no law to protect us humans!
    The gulls are not even seriously considered, by authorites, to be vermin, though that is what they are now, and are also encouraging other vermin and animals, such as rats, foxes and badgers into neighbourhood areas.
    No law against feeding gulls seems to exist, at least not here in S.W Cornwall, even when they are nesting on roofs in large numbers all year round and the cause of a serious public health problem, as well as a real public nuisance. But all we humans are expected to do is have the expense of calling in Pest control to evaluate if they are nuisance enough to remove the nests or eggs, or put up preventative measures on the rooftops….all darned expensive for an occupier, and unaffordable for many, many people….. while the gull feeders get away with no costs, no warnings, and dont give a squawk about their fellow neighbours and residents. Its so archaic that in the 21st century there is so little help for people REALLY suffering for this problem.

    I would like to know exactly where Cornwall Council stands on the matter of people feeding gulls and what they are able to do to levy some sort of fine on householders who are doing this, who, by the very fact that they are feeding them, are the REAL root cause of the problem. If the Council currently have no authority to deal with this, will it take this problem seriously enough to start doing something to gain authority to fine people, and start putting in place some proper substantial help us alleviate the problem, or will they not help their residents, as they are elected, and paid, to do?
    Other councils are able to fine residents and tourists… why not Cornwall Council???
    An answer on here would be preferred and appreciated please, however you know where I live Andrew and have my contact number.
    Thank you.
    Lynn Curnow, Porthleven resident. (Who is not afraid to put her name to comments made here, and who unfortunately lives high on a hill where the gulls nest, rather than by the sea these days!)

  • Anonymous

    Misprint: Sorry I wrote something incorrectly, I meant 'It is AGAINST the law to cull gulls without a license' !! Lynn Curnow.

  • Anonymous

    How can a councillor that lives in porthleven not be affected,everyone is affected by these flying rats

  • Anonymous

    Lynn,sounds like you have a very specific problem,the problems you describe are not wide spread in Porthleven,sounds like you have a problem with your neighbours attitude,sadly however powerfull Cornwall Council and Mr Wallace are I dont think thats something they can solve.
    With cuts left right and centre I think there are a lot more important things to spend money on than a few gulls,we live by the sea,gulls life by the sea,lets all live in peace and harmony…

  • Lynn Curnow

    Anonymous: Have tried speaking to the culprit neighbours, but to no avail. No you are right, the problem is not widespread in Porthleven, the darn gulls, supposed to be on cliffs, are mainly on the higher ground, inland. Maybe you have the luxury of living closer to the sea, at lower level? Living in peace and harmony is all well and good in words Mr/Ms Anon, but try telling that to someone injured/swooped on by gulls. Or someone being inaffective at work due to lack of sleep every night for the constant sqauwking of them all night, especially at this time of year, or someone who often has to re-wash a lot of their washing, someone who ends up being the only person that cleans the mess up left by anonymous people putting bin bags out and seagulls destroying them….etc etc. Sweet words about harmony are all well and good. But practical and actually helpful? No!
    ANDREW Please would you respond to my earlier post on this subject, back in January? I have stil not heard from you! Thank you.

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