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.