Bird Waste Disposal: Messy situation at the Westgate Hotel gets cleaned up!
Bird Waste Disposal Team
Messy situation at the Westgate Hotel gets cleaned up!
The historic Westgate Hotel in Newport, central to the Chartist uprising of 1839, has once again found itself under attack, but this time from a different sort of danger
Pigeons, who have taken up residence in the top three floors of the hotel, have been posing a serious concern to public health owing to the amount and toxicity of their waste.
Although some of the hotel is in use, the top three levels of the hotel had over 50 years worth of accumulated bird waste. Owners Peter Gunning & Partners Ltd called in specialist waste management company GD Environmental to clear up the waste and make the hotel safe for human use and the subsequent filming of the Doctor Who Christmas special.
James Norvill, managing director of GD Environmental, said: “I often see sites where bird waste is a real problem. As well as the Westgate Hotel, in Newport there are several other sites which are also a bit of a mess, including the John Frost memorial outside the hotel.
“Although you can see how unsightly the waste is, people often don’t fully understand the health risks posed by this problem. Pigeons in fact carry more diseases than rats, but despite this people often encourage these flying pests by feeding them.”
Harmful organisms found in bird waste can cause lung and blood diseases such as histoplasmosis, aspergillosis and listeriosis. The birds also carry dangerous bacteria which can cause salmonelliosis and pseudo-tuberculosis.
Julie Barratt, Director of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in Wales, said: “It is rare for members of the public to contract disease from pigeon droppings, but as a carrier of disease the droppings do have the potential to cause illness, particularly if found in large quantities. Members of the public should be vigilant to wash their hands after coming into contact with bird droppings or after handling the birds themselves. People should take particular care with children who may encounter droppings in playground toys and park furniture.”
A specialist team from GD Environmental spent two weeks cleaning out three levels of the hotel including the attic space. There is strict legislation from the Environment Agency regarding the clean-up of bird waste due to its high levels of toxicity. The team safely removed all birds and sealed all access points, they then proceeded to bag and seal all waste and disinfected the area to prevent further contamination.
James Norvill said: “We were able to take on this job at relatively short notice as the Westgate Hotel were finding it difficult to find someone who could complete the job in the time required. We have the equipment necessary to take on a job as specialist as this, while ensuring that any public health risk is avoided.”
The Westgate Hotel found itself at the centre of a violent protest as part of the Chartist’s call for greater voting rights for the working classes. The Westgate were concerned about the damage the birds waste could have on some of the hotels history.
GD Environmental is a complete waste management company which specialises in all forms of wet and dry waste disposal, as well as offering skip hire, drain services and recycling facilities. After a merger between two other companies in 2004 GD Environmental has grown to be one of the largest companies of its kind in the area and now operates in markets across Wales and the South West, as well as in Europe.