Nothing but net

The white and grey winged beasts were back again today. The horrid creatures are everywhere across Canada – from the East Coast to the West Coast, still not sure if they’re in the territories but I’ll bet they are.

Like clockwork, Wednesday comes around and the winged beasts’ ear-splitting screeches fill the skies if you aren’t careful and take precautions.

All the people of St. John’s are trying to do is remove their accumulated waste from the week for curbside pickup but the beasts take full advantage and force the clean up on the people that allowed them their fine breakfast.

Seagulls they call them, which isn’t much different from what I’ve known them as. And from what I’ve learned, the good news is they’re usually the only real issue when it comes to garbage. That may be because the small land mammals have a hard time on the steep slops and the aquatic mammals can’t climb the slopes but don’t quote me on that.

“I don’t see skunks or raccoons usually,” said Craig Sanders, a resident in St. John’s, N.L. “We usually just deal with seagulls when it comes to roadside garbage.”

The proud people of Newfoundland and Labrador have found their solution.

Slopes don’t do so well for bins. If the wind doesn’t send the bin or its lid sailing, the garbage man leaving the bin on its side will send the bin to the bottom of the hill instead. But if you’re not careful you’re out at the end of the day cleaning up the warzone the gulls left behind because it’s not like the garbage pickup crew are paid to do it.

So, the Newfoundland solution to this steep dilemma includes anything from a blanket to the ingenious weighted net.

“Garbage must be placed in a bin or covered with an approved net or blanket from April 1 to November 30. All garbage must be completely covered,” is written on the Curb It St. John’s recycling and garbage pickup website.

The good news is the gulls seem to give the people a break during the cold winter months.

It’s a mystery how the net keeps the gulls away. The nets are quite holey; holey enough for a gull to fit it’s head in and snack.

But this is a mystery I’m happy for because at least it means no cleanup. Unfortunately, the nets aren’t cheap, some going for a little over $20. But it’s a small price to pay to avoid cleanup. Just be sure to keep an eye out. The gulls might be getting smarter because some nets disappear. It’s either that or people don’t want to pay for one and a net precariously resting on the sidewalk can be an easy “gift.”

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