Rubbish plan to give Falmouth seagulls the sack

Falmouth Packet: Town councillor Diana Merrett gives seagulls the sack Town councillor Diana Merrett gives seagulls the sack

New seagull-proof sacks look likely to be made available to residents in Falmouth in a bid to cut down on the amount of rubbish that is strewn across roads on collection day.

People who leave unprotected plastic bin-bags outside their homes are held responsible for the mess left by seagulls which rip into the bags while scavenging for food.

Cornwall Council has carried out a trial of new gull-proof sacks with 1,500 householders across the county.

Plastic bin bags are placed inside the large sacks which are then sealed and tied to gates. Following the trial, which has been hailed a success, the sacks are to be weighted and the handles and ties altered to make them more effective.

Falmouth’s environmental champion, councillor Diana Merrett; town clerk, Mark Williams and town manager, Richard Gates, met with Cornwall Council’s waste projects awareness officer, Esther O’Bearagh to discuss how the scheme could be rolled out in Falmouth.

It was agreed that the town presented a unique combination of problems with its transient student population, a large percentage of second and holiday homes and a large seagull population.

“It was suggested that some councils may want to buy a stock of them (the sacks) to sell to local residents,” said Mr Williams. “We are talking about stocking them at the One Stop Shop, this building (the Municipal Buildings) and other venues, but do we buy a stock and sell them at the unit price or at a subsidised rate?”

The idea of the new sacks was generally met with enthusiasm by councillors. Allyson Biggins said: “The concept is very good. What they are trying to achieve is really great and if it stops half the problem, I will be happy.”

Ms Merrett added: “Providing everyone takes it on board that if they have a sack they should still use the black bags and not just tip the rubbish into the sack, it will work. I tied it to my gate and it worked perfectly. If it has worked elsewhere there is no reason it should not work here.”

Councillor David Saunby, though, was more sceptical. “The seagulls will be in there like a shot when they work it out,” he said.

Members of the town’s finance and general purposes committee agreed that a further trial could be implemented in Falmouth, subject to more details being known, including the cost of the sacks.

Comments (24)

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6:26pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Whilst this is appears a good idea, how much is this costing the council just to solve a problem which could be solved by people being responsible and buying their own dustbin or wheeliebin. On the one hand the council want to charge benefit claimants council tax but then on the other they appear quite happy to finance something just because some people cannot be socially responsible. I have witnessed people that live in privately owned houses with expensive cars in the driveways putting their rubbish out in normal black bags that the seagulls rip open. Are the council going to keep bailing out irresponsible people by providing things just to make it easier for them.
Whilst this is appears a good idea, how much is this costing the council just to solve a problem which could be solved by people being responsible and buying their own dustbin or wheeliebin. On the one hand the council want to charge benefit claimants council tax but then on the other they appear quite happy to finance something just because some people cannot be socially responsible. I have witnessed people that live in privately owned houses with expensive cars in the driveways putting their rubbish out in normal black bags that the seagulls rip open. Are the council going to keep bailing out irresponsible people by providing things just to make it easier for them. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

All local seaside areas have a seagull problem and a percentage of irresponsible people that continually put out unprotected black sacks and a large percentage of second homes/holiday lets, so providing Falmouth and Porthleven only with seagull proof bags appears a little selective to me. Or is it a case of how effectual ones local Cornwall Councillors are in obtaining things for their areas.
All local seaside areas have a seagull problem and a percentage of irresponsible people that continually put out unprotected black sacks and a large percentage of second homes/holiday lets, so providing Falmouth and Porthleven only with seagull proof bags appears a little selective to me. Or is it a case of how effectual ones local Cornwall Councillors are in obtaining things for their areas. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

The type of people that are irresponsible enough to put out unprotected sacks are in my opinion unlikely to bother purchasing a bag.
The type of people that are irresponsible enough to put out unprotected sacks are in my opinion unlikely to bother purchasing a bag. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

6:57pm Thu 31 Jan 13

BN Falmouth says...

Gill Zella Martin 09 wrote:
The type of people that are irresponsible enough to put out unprotected sacks are in my opinion unlikely to bother purchasing a bag.
Well said Gill Zella Martin 09, couldn't have put it better.
[quote][p][bold]Gill Zella Martin 09[/bold] wrote: The type of people that are irresponsible enough to put out unprotected sacks are in my opinion unlikely to bother purchasing a bag.[/p][/quote]Well said Gill Zella Martin 09, couldn't have put it better. BN Falmouth
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Lanty Slee says...

You know, I've heard tell they have these magical things upcountry that are bit like a bin but with little round things fixed to the bottom.

"Wheeled bins" I think they call them - and apparently they're completely seagull proof!

Genius idea. (Unlike a crappy plastic sack tied to a gatepost... who came up with that?)
You know, I've heard tell they have these magical things upcountry that are bit like a bin but with little round things fixed to the bottom. "Wheeled bins" I think they call them - and apparently they're completely seagull proof! Genius idea. (Unlike a crappy plastic sack tied to a gatepost... who came up with that?) Lanty Slee
  • Score: 0

11:24am Fri 1 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Lol, that is exactly what I say.

Maybe Cory should be providing these sacks or wheelie bins seeing as they have the contract that is worth well over 125 million. I originally had a full size wheelie bin and was told I could not use it as the collectors could not bend down into it to lift out the sacks due to health and safety reasons, and that their vehicles were not fitted with lifting equipment, I then purchased a small wheelie bin which they emptied. Now we have a new contractor Cory, they do in fact have the lifting equipment on their vehicles which would enable people to have full size wheelie bins and the collectors would not have a problem emptying them.
Incidentally in other parts of the country where full size wheelie bins are supplied, the collectors very often lean into the bins, remove the sacks and throw them into the lorry simply as it is quicker than using the official lifting mechanism, so much for the health and safety issue.
Lol, that is exactly what I say. Maybe Cory should be providing these sacks or wheelie bins seeing as they have the contract that is worth well over 125 million. I originally had a full size wheelie bin and was told I could not use it as the collectors could not bend down into it to lift out the sacks due to health and safety reasons, and that their vehicles were not fitted with lifting equipment, I then purchased a small wheelie bin which they emptied. Now we have a new contractor Cory, they do in fact have the lifting equipment on their vehicles which would enable people to have full size wheelie bins and the collectors would not have a problem emptying them. Incidentally in other parts of the country where full size wheelie bins are supplied, the collectors very often lean into the bins, remove the sacks and throw them into the lorry simply as it is quicker than using the official lifting mechanism, so much for the health and safety issue. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

11:27am Fri 1 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Incidentally if the contractor supplied full size wheelie bins then they may just about be able to justify fortnightly collections which would save them money.
Incidentally if the contractor supplied full size wheelie bins then they may just about be able to justify fortnightly collections which would save them money. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Fri 1 Feb 13

victoriameldrew says...

not everyone has the room for wheelie bins either the large or the smaller ones therefore they have no choice but to use black sacks. Also, in my case, I have a steep drive which would be pretty dangerous for me, being a 5ft nothing woman, to negotiate down the drive when it is full. I can see no problem covering black sacks with an old sheet or blanket, or what I use, a bit of old carpet.
not everyone has the room for wheelie bins either the large or the smaller ones therefore they have no choice but to use black sacks. Also, in my case, I have a steep drive which would be pretty dangerous for me, being a 5ft nothing woman, to negotiate down the drive when it is full. I can see no problem covering black sacks with an old sheet or blanket, or what I use, a bit of old carpet. victoriameldrew
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Incidentally I am only a 5ft nothing woman. No there is nothing wrong at all with covering black sacks with a sheet or carpet, many people do that, it is the people that do not cover the black sacks that are causing the problem.
Incidentally I am only a 5ft nothing woman. No there is nothing wrong at all with covering black sacks with a sheet or carpet, many people do that, it is the people that do not cover the black sacks that are causing the problem. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Fri 1 Feb 13

meerkats says...

if people cant buy an old sheet /blanket from a charity shop to cover their rubbish ,then how do the council think they will buy these special bags,? Its just people cant be bothered to cover their rubbish bags,yet are the first to complain when there is rubbish strewn around. Incidentally i do cover mine with an old sheet.
if people cant buy an old sheet /blanket from a charity shop to cover their rubbish ,then how do the council think they will buy these special bags,? Its just people cant be bothered to cover their rubbish bags,yet are the first to complain when there is rubbish strewn around. Incidentally i do cover mine with an old sheet. meerkats
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Incidentally the recycling bags are nothing like what they were 'cracked up' to be, despite being weighted they still blow away when empty, they fill up with rain and the lids are useless. From the above picture the only difference between that bag and the recycling bags looks like that bag is big enough to fit a body in it and it is not brightly coloured.
I am inclined to agree with Councillor David Saunby's comment.
Incidentally the recycling bags are nothing like what they were 'cracked up' to be, despite being weighted they still blow away when empty, they fill up with rain and the lids are useless. From the above picture the only difference between that bag and the recycling bags looks like that bag is big enough to fit a body in it and it is not brightly coloured. I am inclined to agree with Councillor David Saunby's comment. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Fri 1 Feb 13

GrahamHarris says...

Hmm, its a good idea, and at least well done to the Councillor for getting something done.

I can see problems at properties where there's no front gate though. People are going to leave the sacks on the pavement, the refuse collectors are going to spend a lot more time opening the sacks to get the bags out and it will generally delay them I would think?
Hmm, its a good idea, and at least well done to the Councillor for getting something done. I can see problems at properties where there's no front gate though. People are going to leave the sacks on the pavement, the refuse collectors are going to spend a lot more time opening the sacks to get the bags out and it will generally delay them I would think? GrahamHarris
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Fri 1 Feb 13

livealittle says...

Falmouth has a transient student population and in the area in which I live, students are mostly responsible for the rubbish and detritus left lying around. Perhaps the university/college could be made to buy sufficient of these seagull proof bags to give/sell to students and encourage them to take responsibility for their own refuse. Many are away from home for the first time and it just may not occur to them that they have a responsibility to their local environment.
Falmouth has a transient student population and in the area in which I live, students are mostly responsible for the rubbish and detritus left lying around. Perhaps the university/college could be made to buy sufficient of these seagull proof bags to give/sell to students and encourage them to take responsibility for their own refuse. Many are away from home for the first time and it just may not occur to them that they have a responsibility to their local environment. livealittle
  • Score: 0

12:19am Sat 2 Feb 13

falmouthobserver says...

Bl**dy student, causing all this nuisance in our town, time they went. On the other hand, I welcome a wide range of avian life into my garden, be they small passerines or larger gulls, and they are all part of the local environment, they were here long before us. Whilst I do not condone active feeding of gulls in the street, I'm always happy to see them finishing the leftovers from a weeks worth of student cooking
Bl**dy student, causing all this nuisance in our town, time they went. On the other hand, I welcome a wide range of avian life into my garden, be they small passerines or larger gulls, and they are all part of the local environment, they were here long before us. Whilst I do not condone active feeding of gulls in the street, I'm always happy to see them finishing the leftovers from a weeks worth of student cooking falmouthobserver
  • Score: 0

6:32am Sat 2 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

I am quite happy to see the gulls in their natural environment, however, I am not happy to see a road full of litter after the gulls have ripped open unprotected black sacks and the owners of the sacks not clear the mess up. That is the first way to encourage rats which love paper and cardboard with which to make nests with and yes there is still paper and card in the black sacks and not in the recycling bags which can be seen strewn around the outside of the black sacks, particularly used kitchen roll, a nice luxury for a rats nest.
I am quite happy to see the gulls in their natural environment, however, I am not happy to see a road full of litter after the gulls have ripped open unprotected black sacks and the owners of the sacks not clear the mess up. That is the first way to encourage rats which love paper and cardboard with which to make nests with and yes there is still paper and card in the black sacks and not in the recycling bags which can be seen strewn around the outside of the black sacks, particularly used kitchen roll, a nice luxury for a rats nest. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

10:22am Sat 2 Feb 13

Wave says...

victoriameldrew wrote:
not everyone has the room for wheelie bins either the large or the smaller ones therefore they have no choice but to use black sacks. Also, in my case, I have a steep drive which would be pretty dangerous for me, being a 5ft nothing woman, to negotiate down the drive when it is full. I can see no problem covering black sacks with an old sheet or blanket, or what I use, a bit of old carpet.
What you do is wheel the bin empty down your drive. Then do as you previously did and carry the black sacks down to the collection point, then when you are there you put the black sacks into the wheelie bin.
[quote][p][bold]victoriameldrew[/bold] wrote: not everyone has the room for wheelie bins either the large or the smaller ones therefore they have no choice but to use black sacks. Also, in my case, I have a steep drive which would be pretty dangerous for me, being a 5ft nothing woman, to negotiate down the drive when it is full. I can see no problem covering black sacks with an old sheet or blanket, or what I use, a bit of old carpet.[/p][/quote]What you do is wheel the bin empty down your drive. Then do as you previously did and carry the black sacks down to the collection point, then when you are there you put the black sacks into the wheelie bin. Wave
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Sat 2 Feb 13

victoriameldrew says...

Wave wrote:
victoriameldrew wrote:
not everyone has the room for wheelie bins either the large or the smaller ones therefore they have no choice but to use black sacks. Also, in my case, I have a steep drive which would be pretty dangerous for me, being a 5ft nothing woman, to negotiate down the drive when it is full. I can see no problem covering black sacks with an old sheet or blanket, or what I use, a bit of old carpet.
What you do is wheel the bin empty down your drive. Then do as you previously did and carry the black sacks down to the collection point, then when you are there you put the black sacks into the wheelie bin.
still rather do as I am doing, cover my black sacks with carpet or sheet thanks all the same.
[quote][p][bold]Wave[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]victoriameldrew[/bold] wrote: not everyone has the room for wheelie bins either the large or the smaller ones therefore they have no choice but to use black sacks. Also, in my case, I have a steep drive which would be pretty dangerous for me, being a 5ft nothing woman, to negotiate down the drive when it is full. I can see no problem covering black sacks with an old sheet or blanket, or what I use, a bit of old carpet.[/p][/quote]What you do is wheel the bin empty down your drive. Then do as you previously did and carry the black sacks down to the collection point, then when you are there you put the black sacks into the wheelie bin.[/p][/quote]still rather do as I am doing, cover my black sacks with carpet or sheet thanks all the same. victoriameldrew
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Will health and safety rules allow the collectors to bend down into the bottom of the bag to lift out the black sacks, seeing as they are apparently not allowed to with a full size wheelie bin ? and the sack in the above picture looks a similar height to a full size wheelie bin.
Or perhaps they will just tip the bag upside down and the black sacks would fall out assuming they are not too full and get wedged in the bag, or would the bag be too heavy by health and safety standards to pick up and turn upside down ? If tied to a gate how long will it be before the gate falls off it's hinges and if it does who will be responsible for mending the gate ? If people do not want to buy a wheelie bin or dustbin then I think the sheet/carpet covering is a better option and I would imagine, certainly quicker. Definitely cheaper.
Will health and safety rules allow the collectors to bend down into the bottom of the bag to lift out the black sacks, seeing as they are apparently not allowed to with a full size wheelie bin ? and the sack in the above picture looks a similar height to a full size wheelie bin. Or perhaps they will just tip the bag upside down and the black sacks would fall out assuming they are not too full and get wedged in the bag, or would the bag be too heavy by health and safety standards to pick up and turn upside down ? If tied to a gate how long will it be before the gate falls off it's hinges and if it does who will be responsible for mending the gate ? If people do not want to buy a wheelie bin or dustbin then I think the sheet/carpet covering is a better option and I would imagine, certainly quicker. Definitely cheaper. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Sat 2 Feb 13

victoriameldrew says...

also I think we pay enough for our council tax - I certainly avoid buying anything else to line the council pockets - water butts, compost bins, wheelie bins or whatever
also I think we pay enough for our council tax - I certainly avoid buying anything else to line the council pockets - water butts, compost bins, wheelie bins or whatever victoriameldrew
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Sat 2 Feb 13

meerkats says...

I refuse to buy dustbins anymore simply because the binmen have broken them in the past with their rough handling.
I refuse to buy dustbins anymore simply because the binmen have broken them in the past with their rough handling. meerkats
  • Score: 0

7:10am Sun 3 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

To me the obvious and fairest answer to the problem would have been to issue warning notices to offenders that do not cover their rubbish, followed up by fines for repeat offenders.
To me the obvious and fairest answer to the problem would have been to issue warning notices to offenders that do not cover their rubbish, followed up by fines for repeat offenders. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Sun 3 Feb 13

victoriameldrew says...

Gill Zella Martin 09 wrote:
To me the obvious and fairest answer to the problem would have been to issue warning notices to offenders that do not cover their rubbish, followed up by fines for repeat offenders.
totally agree
[quote][p][bold]Gill Zella Martin 09[/bold] wrote: To me the obvious and fairest answer to the problem would have been to issue warning notices to offenders that do not cover their rubbish, followed up by fines for repeat offenders.[/p][/quote]totally agree victoriameldrew
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe says...

What I'd like to know is whether the seagulls that are attacking the bags are real Cornish seagulls or, as I suspect, birds that have swanned in here (pun intended!) from up country, do not pay their flying tax, are muscling out the local birds when it comes to the rich pickings that are rightfully theirs and, which, when they've had their fill, won't even stay in the area anyway.
Enough is enough! Cornish scraps for Cornish birds! (you can join my campaign on Twitter)
What I'd like to know is whether the seagulls that are attacking the bags are real Cornish seagulls or, as I suspect, birds that have swanned in here (pun intended!) from up country, do not pay their flying tax, are muscling out the local birds when it comes to the rich pickings that are rightfully theirs and, which, when they've had their fill, won't even stay in the area anyway. Enough is enough! Cornish scraps for Cornish birds! (you can join my campaign on Twitter) Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Claudius says...

I agree with Gill.
Seagulls might be a nuisance but the council are hardly to blame for their existence.
It is up to all of us to be sensible knowing the problems they cause and cover up to the best of ability the rubbish bags.
I agree with fining people that constistently make no attempt to secure the rubbish bags with a sheet at least.
I agree with Gill. Seagulls might be a nuisance but the council are hardly to blame for their existence. It is up to all of us to be sensible knowing the problems they cause and cover up to the best of ability the rubbish bags. I agree with fining people that constistently make no attempt to secure the rubbish bags with a sheet at least. Claudius
  • Score: 0

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