The dos and don’ts of doggie doo
Doggie doo is considered hazardous waste and in Metro Vancouver, you’re discouraged from throwing it into the garbage.
Just like human waste, dog poo is supposed to be flushed down toilet, but for many pet owners out walking their dog, that doesn’t seem practical.
That’s why so much bagged dog poop gets tossed into regular garbage bins for pickup.
Bill Droeske, who makes a living picking up dog poop, gave CTV News a tour of a local dog park in Burnaby to point out the problem. He lifted up the lid of a garbage bin near an off leash area and looked inside.
“Mostly dog poop,” he said. “Yeah, this would be an ideal spot.”
He said the location would be ideal for one of those special red dog waste bins that are now popping up in parks and along trails all around Metro Vancouver. The dog waste from those bins is collected and taken to a sewage treatment plant.
Droeske’s company, Scooby’s Dog Waste Removal Services, has been contracted to empty many of those bins, but the problem is there aren’t enough of them.
Pat Steward, who walks his dog in Vancouver’s John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park, is glad there are several in the park and would support seeing red bins in all parks because without them, the bagged dog waste doesn’t get taken home and flushed.
“If there’s nothing and you’re there, I throw them in the trash,” Steward said.
Vancouver has the red bins in five parks and an official told CTV News that over a two-year period, the program has diverted more than 14,000 kilograms of dog waste from the landfill.
“They always start with a pilot project with a few bins and then they expand,” Droeske said.
“Yup, we use them for sure when we walk in North Van,” said Sue, a pet owner we ran into while walking her dog. The problem is she was in Burnaby near that park that could use one.
“Yeah, because I feel bad, like you know?” she added.
Burnaby now has two dog waste bins and plans to add more. In total, Droeske estimates there are nearly 150 in the Metro Vancouver area.
But until you start seeing more dog waste bins in your neighborhood, it’s recommended that you pick up the waste and flush it when you get home.
Cat feces should not be flushed because it could contain a harmful parasite and should be double bagged and tossed in the trash.
Metro Vancouver also suggests composting and has put more information on its website to help pet owners.
Or you could just hire someone else to take care of the problem. They can pick it up weekly from the yard or you can pick it up and then they come by an empty the bins on a regular basis. Rates vary depending on the service, but the average homeowner pays about $50 a month for the service.
There are several poop scooping services such as Scooby’s operating in the region.
“There’s lots of poop for everyone,” Droeske said.
It’s estimated there are 350,000 dogs in Metro Vancouver, which keeps all the scooping services very busy.