The Eagle, the Owl and the Mice

Steven Averett, Content Director, Waste Group

November 1, 2006

1 Min Read
The Eagle, the Owl and the Mice

Simi valley, calif., eagle scout candidate John Casselberry Jr. wanted a unique Eagle Scout project. Not content to build a footbridge or clean up a cemetery, Casselberry instead turned his sights to Waste Management's Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center, which was overrun with mice and rats. After meeting with the facility's manager, the 14-year-old learned that the company was interested in using owls as an environmentally friendly way to patrol the site, having had previous success using trained falcons to scare off encroaching seagulls.

Casselberry and his father, John Sr., went to work, constructing eight owl boxes from plywood and two-by-fours. They hoped to attract native barn and great-horned owls, which commandeer other animals' nests instead of building their own. The owl condos were stationed atop 14-foot poles around the perimeter of the landfill. Within five minutes, the first owls began to circle and have been regulars ever since.

Aesop would have been proud.


About the Author(s)

Steven Averett

Content Director, Waste Group, Waste360

Steven Averett joined the Waste Age staff in February 2006. Since then he has helped the magazine expand its coverage and garner a range of awards from FOLIO, the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) and the Magazine Association of the Southeast (MAGS). He recently won a Gold Award from ASBPE for humor writing.

Before joining Waste Age, Steven spent three years as the staff writer for Industrial Engineer magazine, where he won a gold GAMMA Award from MAGS for Best Feature. He has written and edited material covering a wide range of topics, including video games, film, manufacturing, and aeronautics.

Steven is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned a BA in English.

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