Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

May 1999


The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) operates a ‘bulky waste’ (non-putrescible waste) landfill at a site that is 10,300 ft from the end of the main runway at the Atlantic City (NJ) International Airport (ACY). The airport supports the Federal Aviation Administration’s Technical Center. The ACUA also operates a transfer station at its site. Municipal solid waste (msw = putrescible) is delivered to the transfer station during the day. Previously, the msw was loaded onto transfer trucks and shipped to an out-of-state landfill. In October 1997, the ACUA received a permit to conduct a 2-year experiment to dispose of the msw at its own landfill at night. The night landfilling was designed to prevent birds from feeding at the waste and creating a hazard to aircraft. The research project is subject to intensive monitoring and the results for the first 15 months are presented in this paper. At the time of writing, 12 months had been completed. During this period, no birds were attracted to the active waste disposal area during 314 nights of landfilling. The question then became were birds, primarily gulls, attracted to the covered msw area during the following day. A bird control program was in place at the landfill and a biologist conducted regular surveys. Several hundred gulls flew directly over the site every morning en route to inland feeding areas. Gulls were present on the covered msw disposal area only 4 times during 249 days when Biologist Surveys were conducted. The ACUA night landfilling experiment has been successful. The paper will present the results of the monitoring program and discuss why this approach was successful at this location and why the approach might or might not be successful at other locations and situations.