Toronto's Scoop on Too Much Dog Poop
TORONTO -- Toronto bylaws requiring dog walkers to "stoop and scoop" are yielding an unmanageable amount of poop in park trash bins.
An auditor's report this week showed that up to 27 per cent of all garbage collected from city parks is pet poop.
"It's no big secret that people take their animals to the parks and leave behind plastic bags of poop in the trash," Toronto parks and environment committee chairwoman Paula Fletcher said Wednesday. "But the amount was a bit of a shocker."
"In the summertime, when the cans can are overflowing with plastic bags full of dog poo and it's hot out . . . the smell is really terrible," she said.
The solution is to put "green bins" in every city park, Fletcher said. Green bins are special recycling bins used to separate organic waste from traditional recyclables such as tin and glass.
But only four of Toronto's hundreds of city parks have green bins and there is little money in the city budget to add more. That leaves pet owners with little recourse but to throw their pet waste in the regular trash.
"Wherever possible, we're asking people to take the poo home with them and dispose of it in their own green bins," Fletcher said.
According to the auditor's report, bagged pet waste from Toronto's city parks accounts for as much as 2,500 tonnes of landfill every year.
By diverting three-quarters of it, the parks department could meet this year's goal of diverting 60 percent of its waste from landfill.
"Whatever we do, the cleanliness of our parks will be No. 1," Fletcher said. "Figuring out what to do with No. 2 will be, well, No. 2."