Birds are attracted to municipal solid waste landfills, due mainly to the abundance of food. Birds may contaminate stormwater and increase E.coli counts, resulting in landfills having regulatory incentives or requirements to reduce birds. A landfill in Oregon is successfully reducing E.coli counts by reducing bird presence with laser-based bird control products manufactured by Bird Control Group.

Economic, regulatory, and aesthetic challenges occur due to flocks of birds that aggregate near landfills, usually during the fall and winter months. The main regulatory issue with birds is that they leave droppings behind, which can contaminate stormwater. The most common species of birds at landfills are starlings, gulls, pigeons, and crows.

Bird Control Group clients have successfully used laser bird deterrent systems to reduce bird presence in agricultural, industrial, renewable energy, and commercial settings for several years.

The deterrent system emits a green laser beam that creates a small dot on surfaces, often at a difference of over 1000 feet away. Birds, including individuals to large flocks, usually react immediately and will often leave the area after a few minutes of laser use. Lasers are available as both a handheld version and as an automated system the AVIX Autonomic.

Manual vs automated bird control products

Handheld lasers provide flexibility and control in terms of particular bird species, groups of birds, and applications. The automated system is programmed to run the laser dot along set paths determined by the operator based on the particular application and scenario. The computerized system is usually mounted onto a pole or rooftop to provide maximum range and proper positioning for the laser to focus on the ground or other surfaces where birds land to forage, loaf, or roost.

landfill successfully deploys laser bird control products

How effective are laser bird control products?

For over a year, SCS Engineers (SCS) has been evaluating both handheld lasers and an AVIX system in a solid waste landfill application. Trials and resulting data collected by landfill staff show that most birds flee the site within a few minutes of laser use, using either handheld or automated lasers. Data indicate both the short-term and sustained effectiveness.

SCS is an engineering and environmental consulting firm located in the United States of America specializing and solid waste management and compliance. Their mission is to prevent and mitigate environmental events in the renewable energy and solid and hazardous waste management industry for public and private clients worldwide.

Find more information

SCS is in the midst of planning to attend the SWANA NW Symposium 2021, to discuss the results and obstacles at Roseburg Landfill regarding bird reduction and laser deployment. If you’d like to find out more, please contact Shane Latimer at SCS Engineers.