Toronto wants owners to carry dog poop home
The City of Toronto wants residents to stoop, scoop and then carry their dog's poop home instead of placing it in park garbage bins.
The city's latest waste audit shows as much as 25 per cent of trash in park bins is dog excrement. That equals about 1,400 tonnes of pet waste, which then ends up at the landfill.
Toronto is discussing a variety of initiatives to help its goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste from landfills by 2010.
Councillor Paula Fletcher, who chairs the parks and environment committee, wants dog owners to place their pet's waste in their green bins at home, where other organic materials such as food scraps are tossed.
"People are very avid recyclers in this city. I think many people will think, 'I didn't think of that, I'll take that home,'" Fletcher says.
She says the idea would also make city parks more inviting to residents.
"In the summer it's very, very smelly and it's very concentrated," Fletcher says of the odour near garbage cans.
"Even in your own green bin, you don't find it at that level of concentration in the way you might in a park's bin."
Some dog owners at the popular Withrow Park on Tuesday were skeptical, but most seemed accepting of the initiative.
"I don't know if it will happen, but I don't think it's an unreasonable request," said one woman. "I would do it."
"That's what we do most of the time," said one man. "We also use these biodegradable bags so that it's not as negative an impact on the environment."
Fletcher says the city could also place green bins in city parks so it would be more convenient for dog owners.
"I think if you gotta track it home, some people would be less inclined to pick it up in the first place," said another dog owner. "If they have the green bins there then (residents) pick it up and put it in a place that's more appropriate than the garbage."
The city has launched a pilot program that has set up green bins at four parks.
Toronto also is looking at installing special dog waste stations, similar to what is being used in Pickering.
With a report from CTV's Desmond Brown