This week residents in Rye have received a letter from the Behavioural Change Officer of Verdant asking for our co-operation in keeping the streets clean and avoiding unnecessary littering. It goes on to tell us not to put our rubbish out till just before 7a.m on the day of collection to avoid it being attacked by birds and vermin, which causes extra work for the street sweepers.
Have they considered the following? In the High Street area of the town it is not the residents who litter the streets but some of the tourists whose habit of eating as they walk round and then stuffing the remains in the ‘gull proof’ bins who encourage the birds. In my street the second homes/holiday cottages outnumber the residential homes. Although I am sure that the owners of the holiday properties leave instructions for when to put out the rubbish( or to take it with them if they leave before that day), bags are frequently left out for days, not just overnight. Furthermore the streets in this area are swept before the arrival of the refuse collecting truck and the commercial wheelie bin collectors, so I or my partner often sweep up after them or clear up visitors rubbish, and since the time of collection varies from week to week, the gulls have plenty of time after 7 o’clock to rip open bags. A simple solution is to buy a lightweight plastic dustbin to put the bags in with a lid that even the gulls can’t get off.
Meanwhile no-one has thought to tell the gulls that 7a.m is curfew time for them and they are to be seen at any time of day sitting on cars in the High Street waiting for the odd chip to drop or foraging in the bins, unafraid of traffic or crowds of people.
East Street, Rye