The North East Fife area committee recently agreed to a request for £8,500 to upgrade the public bins in the St Andrews town centre.
The new bin design, with flap-style doors, will make it more difficult for seagulls and other animals to get inside of the bins. This in turn will contribute to a cleaner and safer town centre.
St Andrews has dealt with an increase in seagull-related issues in the past year, especially in highly-populated places like the town centre where takeaway food is often consumed.
In May of 2018, the University of St Andrews confirmed to The Saint that it had to resort to the removal of two large seagulls which had regularly perched outside of the University library.
At the time, the seagulls had become more aggressive and had attacked visitors holding food on numerous occasions.
In response to an inquiry by The Saint, a spokesperson from the University of St Andrews Estates department responded:
“Unfortunately we had received a number of complaints and concerns from staff, students and visitors to the University with regard to the aggressive behaviour of the two seagulls – we also had incidents where people had been physically attacked and hurt (blood drawn) by these two seagulls.
“It was therefore important for us to take action and resolve the issue as there was concern that someone could be seriously hurt as a result of the birds’ behaviour.”
The University’s Estates department worked with Fife Council Environmental Services and the Scottish Pest Control to identify a solution.
The team ruled out localised bird proofing and falconry because of the location of the problem and the birds’ aggressive nature.
They then worked with the Scottish Natural Heritage, who gave the team the authority to remove the birds, especially due to the health and safety concerns from the previous incidents.
Speaking to Fife Today, Janice Laird, community manager, said, “This request was brought forward after a consultation with members of the public and the community council, who support the project. There has been serious concerns about litter in St Andrews and this project is helping to address that issue.”
Damaged bins, or those that are unable to be upgraded, will instead be moved to new locations in town where seagulls and other animals less densely populated.