Car dealership sets out to tackle bird poo problem

Time 9:41 am, January 22, 2014

022f5b40-454d-449e-8160-aceb2faae438STAFF at a BMW dealership in Guildford are having to clean dozens of cars a day in order to tackle a bird droppings problem caused by the waste site next door.

In order to combat the issue, new nets will be installed at the waste facility to help prevent businesses like Vines of Guildford from being plagued by bird poo.

The Mini dealership and body shop have become victims to the bird droppings for many years, but staff are questioning whether or not the nets will be enough to stop the flock of seagulls that circle the area at Slyfield Industrial Estate.

According to the dealership, it’s not just bird droppings causing the problem. Members of the sales team have also reported food waste falling from the sky.

John Rush, workshop manager at Vines of Guildford, told Get Surrey: ‘We probably clean a dozen cars a day, and each time a customer comes in we have got to go out and wipe the poo off before we give them back. It’s just not an ideal situation.

‘It’s a health issue for us because we sometimes go out quickly, get a cloth and wipe it off, and we have to go in and wash our hands again.

‘The young sales girl was out there with a customer and a chicken bone came down. You can laugh about it but it’s not good.’


Food waste is delivered from Surrey households throughout the week and the dealership’s valets have to constantly clean up the mess, after the cars become covered in rubbish from the hundreds of seagulls.

Rush added: ‘Until they get the netting on we won’t know, but I don’t think it’s going to change things. We will have to wait and see because the birds will still know that there’s food waste underneath.’

Gareth Swain, regional manager at SITA Surrey, added: ‘Seagulls are naturally attracted to food waste and the site’s comprehensive environmental control system therefore includes control measures to mitigate any bird activity.

‘Firstly we minimise the time food waste is exposed by loading it promptly into a sealed container, and we maintain high standards of cleanliness, washing down the bay at the end of each day. Secondly, we use two main deterrents, hawk kites and electronic bird scarers, and alternate these so the birds don’t get used to them.

‘We supplement these by flying a live hawk from time to time. In addition, we are planning to further improve our control system by covering the food waste bay with netting, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.’


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