BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Old street signs are being recycled to shield parking meters from crow droppings in downtown Bloomington.

Hundreds of crows have been causing havoc around the Monroe County Courthouse square for the past few weeks as they've settled into the trees and coated the area with droppings.

The county has tried using fake owls and ringing the courthouse bell to scare the birds. It also installed a machine that periodically emits sounds of predator birds. But the crows have stayed put, creating a messy situation for parking enforcement officers charged with cleaning the meters.

Bloomington police Capt. Joe Qualters told The Herald-Times that the coverings were added this week to help protect the meters and make cleaning easier.

Qualters said parking enforcement manager Raye Ann Cox came up with the plan to recycle the signs to address the unsanitary situation.

“She came up with an inexpensive solution to make the best of a situation over which we really have no control, and we are hopeful that it works as intended,” he said.

A metal strap is used to attach the shields, and the cost is less than $15 per meter. Crews identified 16 meters as routine targets for the birds.

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Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com