A council directive that stops people protecting rubbish bags from the seagulls with kerbside cages is being slated as stupid by residents.

Thames-Coromandel District Council has announced it will no longer accept bags hung from trees or put in cages — which residents do to stop seagulls and dogs ripping into rubbish — because of the extra time it takes contractors to collect them.

However, it would send contractors back to collect any litter if pesky animals such as seagulls ripped into the bags and had their fill.

"I heard on the radio today that Street Smart will not collect rubbish bags that are hung in trees or are in cages, they will however attempt to pick up bags that have been ripped apart by dogs and seagulls! I'm sorry but that's stupid," wrote a member of Tairua Chit Chat online forum.


"Just cut your blue bags into quarters, chuck them in the street with your rubbish ... awesome dollar saver," suggested another.

The council said leaving bags inside cages or on trees delayed contractors, "thus not all bags get collected as planned during a particular day".

"Our solid waste contractor Smart Environmental has for several years collected rubbish bags that were not left on the kerbside, even though the contracted service is for a kerbside collection," the council stated in its e-newsletter.

"Smart staff are finding that increasing numbers of bags are being left in cages or hung from trees or poles.

"Smart staff will no longer be collecting these bags and are instead placing stickers on them to notify residents and property owners that rubbish bags must be left on the kerbside to be collected."

It would send contractors back to pick up litter if bags were ripped open by gulls or stray dogs.

"If [contractors] are unable to pick up this scattered rubbish then they will notify our council and we will send staff to collect it."

The TCDC system of collection involves three separate containers — a recycling bin for glass, wheelie bin for tin, plastics and paper, and a $2.50 plastic blue bag that residents must use for non-recyclable rubbish including food waste.


The council said people should take rubbish bags to refuse transfer station collection points if they cannot put them out for collection on rubbish day.

They also sold a $15 net-like contraption called the gullinator that slipped over bags to stop seagulls tearing into them.

TCDC communications manager Laurna White said bags put under a "gullinator" would still be collected.