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One of the most popular complaints to us at engagement events we’ve held recently is the amount of dog poo on pavements in the neighbourhood. If you’re annoyed by this, you’re not alone, in fact dog poo is one of the most complained about subjects to MPs nationwide.

Despite the fact that you can face a fixed penalty or a court fine if you fail to ‘bag and bin’ what your dog leaves behind in most public areas dog poo continues to be a problem. Concern stems partly from the dangers of toxocariasis, which in extreme cases can include blindness, and partly because we question why we should have to put up with dog mess in our immediate environment, on our shoes or kids’ clothes, pram wheels etc.

So, we thought it would be good to start looking into dog poo (and dog owner behaviour) a bit deeper!

Is it that dog owners don’t carry bags to pick up the mess? Don’t think they need to? Think someone else will clean it up? Don’t want to carry the bag of poo home and can’t see a bin close by? It’s not their own dog they’re walking so don’t know they should? Never have? I’m sure there are more reasons so if you’re reading this and own a dog please feel free to comment and add more reasons.

In a similar vein what’s the incentive for cleaning up after your dog’s mess? Here are a few I can think of: Pride in the local area? Concern for public health? Had a bad experience with dog poo from someone else’s dog? It’s a habit? Embarrassed not too? Might be caught/fined?

We decided to carry out a bin audit in the area to see how many and how spread out the public bins in the area are:

  • Rugby road/Gale street shop parade x 2
  • Gale street bus stops x 3
  • Porter’s Avenue shop parade x 2
  • Mayesbrook park car park x1

So that’s a total of 7 for an area of around 800 households. So about 114 households to one bin. As you can see the bins are not very spread out through the area because of the time/cost of emptying. Could relocating one bin where there are two bins next to each other be good and money saving option?

We’ll be listening to residents and dog owners regarding where would be good places for a bin. Do you think bins placed more regularly through the area will help or is there another angle that would encourage owners to clean up after their pets? To be continued..

 

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