One major pest control problem at landfills is birds scavenging for food. For example, a local landfill near me used to have so many seagulls feeding on the open cell, a nearby beach was contaminated with the birds’ droppings forcing the beach to close. One solution this landfill now employs is the use of falcons to chase away the seagulls. Combined with other methods, the seagull problem abated and water at the beach returned to normal.
There’s a similar problem at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Renton, WA, just outside of Seattle. Birds are showing up in droves to feed and, in their frenzy, fly away, inadvertently dropping garbage on surrounding neighborhoods. What makes this problem unique is that a large number of the invading birds are bald eagles.
“A Seattle-area landfill has found itself attracting a rather majestic pest: The great American bald eagle.
Officials in King County are figuring out how best to manage the rash of birds feasting on garbage at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Renton, Washington, The Seattle Times reports. Chief among those aviary trash connoisseurs are about 200 bald eagles.
Locals tell the newspaper that as eagles pick at whatever edible bits they can find in the dump, the birds also pollinate neighboring properties with filth. During one public meeting, a Renton man told the King County Council he found a biohazard bag containing human blood left in his yard, reportedly the work of the national bird.”
It doesn’t seem like falcons can solve this particular problem. This is also a public relations issue. Do you really want to be chasing away the symbol of the United States of America? And there are also some legal considerations according to The Oregonian/Oregon Live.
“Although bald eagles are no longer listed as endangered, having been removed from the federal list of threatened or endangered animals in 2007, the species is still federally protected. Congress in 1940 passed the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which made it illegal to ‘pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb’ the animals.”
Waste officials in Seattle even tried using drones to chase away the bald eagles, but apparently the birds were so aggressive, they attacked and destroyed the drones.
What would you do to get bald eagles from using a landfill as their personal lunch buffet?