26 February 2009

Creative pest control #2

Another excellent example from the same prison governor:

Food Waste

Once again this is linked to pest control. We have a significant problem with rat infestation, which comes from having an extensive old sewerage system. It is compounded by the fact that prisoners take their meals in their cells during lockdown periods. Any waste food is collected when they are next let out of their cells, usually within 1-2 hours. Unfortunately many prisoners refuse to wait this long, as the food starts to smell and is unsightly, so they flush the food waste down their toilets. This becomes an abundant food source for the rats, meaning they can breed faster etc... All efforts to get prisoners to act responsibly with regard to this had failed, until one manager came up with the idea of supplying all cells with a small bin, and a supply of bio degradable sealable plastic bags. These were issued to prisoners and quickly became a more popular and efficient way of disposing of food waste hygienically. It also allowed prisoners to feel as if they were contributing to reducing a problem in their community. The food waste bags are collected and recycled through an on site machine that turns food waste into compost.

This work is not developed far enough to be able to quantify expenditure against predicted cost savings on recycling and pest control, but it is an example of a slightly more innovative approach to solving a cou-ple of ongoing problems.

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