Friday, 6 November 2009


A new trial is to be carried out in the Eastcliff area of Ramsgate, to see how effective reusable seagull proof bags are, as an alternative to black sacks.

It comes after the local PACT (Partners and Communities Together), residents’ groups and ward councillors in the area raised concerns about seagull attacks on the waste that’s put out in the area, which is especially severe during the breeding season in the spring and summer months. The option preferred by residents was the introduction of seagull proof bags, made out of polypropylene, which will protect the black sacks.

Following a decision last night (Thursday 5 November), by Thanet District Council’s Cabinet, a trial will now take place from the beginning of February 2010 until September 2010, to cover the seagull breeding season, to see how effective the bags are at containing waste, how well the service is used and ways of improving it. The trial will cover 220 properties in Eastcliff, in Augusta Road, Augusta Place, Truro Road, Artillery Road, Arklow Square, Shaftsbury Street and Balmoral Place. Waste collection will continue to be provided on these roads on a weekly basis.

The first bag will be provided free of charge to each property, with one replacement free of charge per year. Advice from other councils, with similar schemes in place, indicates that the bags should last at least a year. If additional replacement bags are required, there will be a cost of £4.50 per bag to cover purchase and administrative costs.

Waste should be contained in black sacks, tied at the top and put into the seagull proof bags. Waste should not be put loose into the seagull proof bag, as this will not be taken. Any waste outside of the seagull proof bag will also not be collected. Residents will need to mark their bags, so that they can identify them and will need to either secure them to a fixed point, such as railings, or put a brick or other weighty object into them, so that they bags do not blow away.

Director of Environmental Services, Mark Seed, said: “We’ve already introduced the alternate weekly wheeled bin system to almost 45,000 properties across Thanet, but there are a number of areas where it’s not possible to introduce wheeled bins, because they simply don’t have the storage space. In these areas, homes have remained on black sack collections, but we’re aware of the problems with those collections, with attacks from birds and animals, mainly seagulls, littering the area. We’ve heard what local people would like introduced into Eastcliff and, as a result, we’re going to be trialling out these reusable seagull proof bags to see how effective they area. This pilot project will allow us to see how much the scheme will cost and the impact on waste collections. We also need to see how well the scheme is used, before we can make any decisions about whether to continue with it or expand it to other areas.”

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