Bird poo proving to be messy problem

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2014
Restaurant manager Jass Kaur
ROBERT CHARLES

CRAPPY WORK: Restaurant manager Jass Kaur wipes bird droppings from tables in Devon St.

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Retailers say they are fed up with birds doing what birds do - leaving their signature over cars, footpaths and restaurant tables in New Plymouth's Devon St.

And they're doing it from those troublesome alder trees that retailers wanted removed two years ago after autumn leaves caused flooding and slippery footpaths.

India Today owner Jassi Grewal said he has had lots of problems with birds. Customers had gone out after having dinner and found their cars covered in "dust."

They would come in the next day and tell how they had to spend 90 minutes to two hours cleaning their cars, he said.

India Today has tables outside which get messy and staff have to warn customers who sit there.

New Plymouth District Council parks manager Mark Bruhn said the council had put a repellent tape into a couple of the trees in response to the problem.

The tape was a reflective foil that scared the birds.

"We're monitoring it to see how it goes." The birds might get used to it, he said.

"We do try and be practical in looking after the trees in the CBD. But we can't control the birds."

Kudos owner Paul Scouller said the foil in the trees had worked, but it meant the birds just moved further down the street.

The birds arrived about 5pm and settled in for the night.

And now the council wasn't cleaning the streets every night the mess stayed there, he said.

"By the end of the week it has become a real mess. And when it rains it becomes very, very slippery," he said.

During the day it wasn't a big issue, but cars that parked along that stretch of the road after hours were getting covered, he said.

"In about five minutes your car will be an absolute mess."

Scouller said he felt for anyone who was dining and restaurant owners who had paid for encroachment areas that couldn't be used. No one could sit out there, because they were going to get dropped on.

"We pay high rates in the CBD to have things right and to have this stuff on the footpath. It would be OK if they were cleaning the streets every day. They should be providing that service on a daily basis."

Council roading assets manager Max Aves said the streets were cleaned every four days, which took care of bird droppings, leaves and other litter. The council made the decision at the beginning of the financial year to decrease the level of service from seven days a week to four.

The alder trees were planted in the 1990s after the council decided to revamp Devon St.

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