Dublin City Council are now trialling the BagBin system to prevent the “infestation of seagulls” opening bin bags and producing waste.
Following a successful trial of the scheme, collapsible waste containers will be phased into residential and commercial locations across the city.
Environmental journalist Frank McDonald told The Hard Shoulder this will prevent seagulls from continuing to spread waste across the city.
“Their feeding ground consists of these plastic bags containing kitchen waste, mainly from restaurants, just deposited on the street every evening,” he said.
“I've watched these Rambo-like seagulls strutting around the street as if they own the place, using their sharp beaks to tear apart these bags and get whatever organic waste they can find."
Mr McDonald said we have accepted this as normal and must address the dirtiness of Dublin City.
“We have to be honest and face the fact that Dublin by comparison to other places is a really dirty place,” he said.
“That became apparent during the dry spell where layers of grime built up on the footpath to such an extent that it became sticky underfoot.”
Dublin City Councillor Hazel Chu said these bins should be brought in as a “temporary measure” while the city looks for longer-term solutions.
“It is a good idea [but] traders have been told they need collapsible bins which I think could be quite unsightly in the city,” she said.
Cllr Chu said the current trial is based on “convenience” - but the council should follow the example of other European cities.
“I would rather us have an underground system, like you see in Italy and Spain,” she said. “Where people put their rubbish in, and it goes underground and the whole thing gets lifted at the end of the day.”
There were previously suggestions to introduce docking stations where businessowners could put their bins in one place, but Cllr Chu said this plan was dropped.
'A step in the right direction'
Mr McDonald said this system sounds efficient but could not realistically be implemented in Dublin.
“Putting that into Dublin would involve digging up the streets to install pipes,” he said. "I don’t think that’s something people would think is desirable.”
He said any attempt to address this issue, such as collapsible bins, is a “step in the right direction”.
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