Birds cause Portrush mess

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Peckish crows and seagulls are being blamed for turning Portrush into a rubbish tip at the height of the busy tourist season.

The hungry birds are dragging litter stashed in bins along Portrush’s seafront and scattering it far and wide in hopes of finding a tasty morsel.

This image, sent by a Times reader, shows the unsightly mess at West Strand.

He said: “The picture was taken yesterday at midday: bins overflowing, what a disgrace!

Another reader claimed that it was Coleraine Borough Council’s fault as it had failed to install bird-proof bins when it was regenerating the seafront.

She said local people were embarrassed about the mess with some many visitors in the area enjoying the beaches and the warm weather.

“People make a conscious effort to put their litter in bins but the crows and seagulls pull all the litter out and it goes everywhere,” she said.

“I met two American tourists who were staying in Portrush, and they were saying: ‘Look at the mess of this place’. I met another woman from Portstewart and she said the bins were the same there, so she decided to come to Portrush for a walk.

“This problem could be easily solved if the correct bins were provided with lids.”

“What is the purpose of spending millions to boost tourism when what tourists see will result in a statement such as ‘Lovely people and great activities, but very dirty country’?”

She said the bins throughout the north coast had been providedfor design purposes rather than being practical.

“The regeneration was the perfect opportunity to put in the correct bins, which is what was asked for, and it was never done,” she said.

Coleraine Borough Council said it had recently completed East Strand as part of a regeneration scheme for Portrush.

“Bin collections take place early each morning in that area and the rubbish has been collected,” a spokesperson said.

“Council is addressing the design of the bins in that location, however council urges the public to take rubbish home and to not leave it on the ground around a full bin before departing.”