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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Gull-proof bags rolled out in bid to rid Carlisle streets of rubbish

Thousands of households are getting special sacks to stop scavenging seagulls causing massive mess.

Carlsle gull bag photo
Elsie Martlew with a gull-proof bag

Carlisle City Council is about to start delivering gull-proof sacks that its leaders hope will make the streets cleaner.

They will replace the current purple bag system at 3,755 homes across the city.

Letters telling householders about the change were posted out this week.

Supporters hope the switch will bring to an end problems with seagulls and other animals ripping open rubbish bags and spreading mess across the streets.

Elsie Martlew, the councillor responsible for the environment, said: “Gull-proof sacks have proven to be an effective method of waste collection and we hope that they will reduce the litter caused when gulls and animals split open refuse sacks.”

A video has even been put together by the authority featuring a step-by-step guide to properly using the bags, which are foldable and reusable.

Weekly rubbish collections will continue, although 106 households will get new collection dates.

The new sacks will be delivered to all affected homes by March 3. Collections using the new sacks will start the following day.

Rolling out the gull sacks, a move approved by councillors last year, is the latest phase in a programme to revamp rubbish collections in the Carlisle district.

It has already seen 1,406 households changing from purple sacks to wheeled bins and another 163 changing to another type of bin.

Residents have already given a positive response to the change, hoping it will enhance efforts to clean up Carlisle’s streets.

Calendars telling householders when refuse and recycling collections will take place have also been distributed this week.

Mrs Martlew said: “We’ve got an excellent waste and recycling service. We are always looking at ways of improving our collections.

“We appreciate the support of all our residents and would encourage them to keep hold of their new collection calendars and put their refuse and recycling out on the correct date and time.”

The council has spent £69,539 buying additional wheelie bins and gull sacks for the change.

Mrs Martlew previously described the purple bin bags as a “gull takeaway” and said something had to be done because the current system did not comply with the authority’s pledge to clean up Carlisle.

More details about refuse and recycling arrangements – as well as the guide on how to use the gull sacks – can be viewed at www.carlisle.gov.uk/refuseandrecycling.

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