A pilot scheme to stop seagulls leaving a trail of destruction on bin day got off the ground in central Morecambe today with the issuing of up to 100 seagull-proof refuse sacks to residential properties and businesses.

Like many towns and cities, residents and businesses often find the household waste they have put out for collection falling victim to a seagull attack and ending up as litter on the street before refuse collectors can take it away. 

In a bid to reduce the regular problem, Lancaster City Council has joined forces with Morecambe BID to fund a scheme which will invite a specially selected group householders and businesses owners in the Poulton area of Morecambe to take part in a seagull-proof sack pilot scheme.

The trial is aimed at properties which cannot accommodate the usual wheeled bins and still use bin bags provided by the council and a number of businesses in the Queen Street area of the town who use the council’s trade waste bin bag collection service.

The tough, durable woven plastic sacks will hold up to three bin bags and it is hoped that the results of the pilot will see a reduction in litter levels in the area.

During trial, participants will be asked to help collection crews by only placing bagged waste into the new seagull-proof bags and by ensuring that it will be easy to lift the bags out of the sack without needing to untie the handles.  The seagull-proof sacks which are easy to store, should then be taken inside as soon after your collection as possible.  The bags should be marked with the property name or number to help residents identify which belongs to their property. 

Coun. Brendan Hughes, Cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Many properties in Morecambe which don’t have room for wheelie bins have no other option than to use the orange bags we provide and put them out on the street.  Once these are torn apart, the contents become easy prey for hungry seagulls and other scavengers and end up blowing away and making a mess on our streets which then needs to be dealt with by our street cleansing teams.

“We are therefore hoping that the seagull-proof refuse sacks which area easy to store and will hold up to three full bin bags, will protect people’s waste help to keep out streets clean and tidy by reducing litter.”

John O’Neill, Manager of Morecambe BID, said:  “Although seagulls are integral to the fabric of a seaside town, for many of those living and working there on a daily basis, they can be a genuine nuisance.  In their search of a ready meal, they can have a detrimental effect on the attractiveness of an area, ripping open bin bags and leaving unsightly rubbish strewn across the street.

“Depriving seagulls and other scavengers, including rodents, of this fast-food option by using seagull-proof refuse sacks is certainly a good start and if this trial is a success it is hoped that this means of storage could be made available to others.”

seagull-proof refuse sacks

Seagull-proof sacks Morecambe