Landfill, neighbors seeing results in battle with birds


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After being pooped on a number of times, workers at the New Hanover County Landfill are taking aim at their avian enemies.

After getting a federal permit in may allowing the landfill to cull their seagull population, workers say they are seeing results.

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“There’s definitely less, and it’s hard to say if it’s seasonal, because it is the summertime, and they typically go to the beach and other areas in the summertime, but there’s definitely been a reduction in seagulls,” Landfill Environmental Specialist Andrew Mulvey said.

It has only been two months since Mulvey started to take aim at these pesky birds at the landfill. Before, workers were being bombarded by bird droppings, which caused health and safety concerns. And the population was growing.

Workers say they have tried everything from pyrotechnics to shooting off scare cartridges to get rid of the birds, but they say the birds are adapting quickly.

“We tried scaring them off, and after a while, the birds get used to the loud sounds,” Landfill Manager Sam Hawes said. “They get used to the fireworks, and they come back.”

This is why they say they had to resort to shooting to kill to thin out these clever birds. But they are not the only ones rejoicing in the reduction.

“Oh, my goodness, the birds, they were in the thousands. They were all on our roof,” said Eileen Rice, who works at neighboring All-Spec Industries.

She says the birds were flocking to her business leaving cars and people covered in bird poop. But she says in the past six weeks, she hasn’t seen a single bird.

“They’re not here at all,” Rice said. “We haven’t had a reoccurrence. We don’t even see the birds any more.”

Hawes says it takes a combination of lethal and non-lethal techniques to keep these birds at bay. He says it is a never-ending battle with the seagulls, but they hope these efforts will continue to work.

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