New rubbish sack scheme to give Bath's pesky gulls the bird
Civic leaders have started a new campaign in the fight against urban gulls with the introduction of new reusable rubbish sacks.
This week Bath and North East Somerset Council has launched a two-month trial of new tough hessian-based sacks to be used by households to store traditional black plastic rubbish sacks.
The council said it hoped the new sacks would be strong enough to withstand attacks from gulls and other animals scavenging for food when left out for collection.
The trial will involve 1,000 homes across 23 streets in the city including New King Street, Rivers Street, Royal Crescent and Bennett Street.
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Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot), the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the authority hoped the trial would prove successful and reduce the amount of rubbish found on the streets of the city.
He said: “This is a crucial first step towards the council tackling the cause of much of the litter people see on our streets early in the morning.
“These sacks are extremely robust and should work well. We really need people to take an active part in this trial so that we can learn lessons about how a more extensive system might work.”
Residents selected for the trial are due to be contacted by the council this week and will then be sent their new sack and information on how to use it.
These households will continue to use plastic black bags but instead of putting them out on the street exposed and vulnerable to attack from animals, will place them in the new reusable bag, which can be tied to railings.
If successful B&NES hopes to eventually roll the reusable bags out across the city.
Robin Jackson from the Circus Area Residents’ Association (CARA) said: "Our organisation is delighted that the Council has decided to proceed and welcomes the opportunity to participate in this trial. "Its success will depend on obtaining extensive feedback from as many of the participants as possible. "CARA acknowledges that huge strides have recently been made in the clean-up of the city centre with the new equipment and working methods now being deployed by the Council’s excellent Neighbourhood Services Team.
"This team now enjoys the considerable additional support being given by the Business Improvement District Rangers.”
* The Bath Chronicle, which has launched the Clean Bath campaign, has carried out its own trial of the new and stronger sacks to see just how tough they are.
For one week a black sack of rubbish was left in the city centre along side the new hessian sack. Both had a collection of general household and food waste inside them.
It is fair to say the new sack passed the test. The sack suffered no visible attack from animals and the rubbish remained inside.
However, the traditional black rubbish sack also survived the week completely unscathed.
With many of the city’s urban gulls migrating south for the winter perhaps it’s the wrong time of year for such an experiment.