HOW TO FIX PET WASTE PROBLEMS IN A BIG CITY
THU, 11 OCT 2018 BY LINDA ROSADO
In urban areas, uncontrolled pet waste is not only an unattractive sight on city sidewalks and in public parks, but it also presents a big health concern. In response to this potential problem, cities are cracking down on pet parents who don’t pick up after their pets.
If you’re looking to get pet waste off of the streets and into trash cans, keep reading to learn more about its effects and tips on how to reach out to pet parents.
WHERE DOES THE UNSCOOPED POOP GO?
With such a large number of pets who need to use the bathroom daily, urban life can cause problems when it comes to pet waste. Unchecked dog waste can create unwanted and dangerous pollution in many different areas of city life.
Besides the smell and sometimes stepping on it, dog poop can be dangerous for both plants and humans. Unlike regular fertilizer, dog waste actually harms grass and lawns and can cause contamination in fruits and vegetables in home gardens if composted incorrectly.
On top of stepping in dog doody on the sidewalk, melted snow or rainfall carries waste into local water supplies through the drainage system. Diseases such as worms, E. coli, and viruses like Parvovirus can quickly end up in streams, lakes, rivers or beaches and cause entire shutdowns. For this reason, dog poop is considered just as dangerous in the water as an oil spill or mining runoff.
Studies also show Fido’s waste can cause a drastic increase in air bacteria. Some studies even report that up to 50% of air bacteria in Midwestern states comes from dog waste. Although this bacterium is not all dangerous, it has sparked a need in more research since unscooped pet waste can affect soil, water and air supply.
HOW CITIES ARE ANSWERING THE PET WASTE PROBLEM
It’s pretty clear that unchecked pet waste is a big problem, and cities are responding with some extreme policies to ensure their citizens pick up after their pups.
To answer this problem, some cities are rolling out Pooper-Scooper Laws. These laws say that pet parents are responsible for all their pets’ droppings, and if they leave them unscooped, it can result in pretty big fines. New York is one of the first to implement these laws, and offenders can face a $250 fine for not cleaning up after their pets. Across the seas in Madrid, if you don’t pick up after your furry friend, you can get $1,700 worth of fines or multiple days of community service!
Other places have started offering rewards for responsible pet ownership. Taiwan’s New Taipei City had the creative solution of offering lottery tickets for cleaning up after other people’s pets. The BBC news reported that this solution saw a return of 14,500 bags and cut dog waste in half.
Policies like this have started to generate a good neighbor policy, where responsible dog owners pick up after the people who don’t.
WHAT ROLES CAN YOU OR YOUR CITY PLAY?
Educating your city on how to properly pick up dog waste is also important. Remind your residents to pick up the droppings with an oxo-biodegradable bag and then throw it away or flush it down the toilet (without the bag).
The more aware the public is on how dangerous dog waste can be, the more likely they are to pick up after their pets. Picking up after pups can be simple and easy. And if everyone did it, policies or programs on dog mess management wouldn’t be necessary. Encourage cleaning up after dogs and find out how you can make an impact on your city with your own research or through DOGIPOT® waste management products.