Dog waste in normal litter bins – problem?

Dog walkers in the Lancashire town of Barnoldswick are causing concern for other users of a picnic area in the town.

Local resident, Pat Dickins, has complained to her local newspaper that dog walkers are placing dog waste in ordinary, open-topped litter bins:

“It is good that people are using the bins, but from a health point of view, I think it is awful that we have such waste just feet away from seats. People often sit on those benches to eat their fish and chips and we have children playing close by in the beck. Surely we should have a proper dog bin, with a closed lid”, she told her local newspaper.

The area’s local council replied that, because dog mess is classed as litter, the dog walkers were acting legally.

We’ve had a number of dog-mess related stories on Dogs Rule and it’s a problem that has great potential to cause rifts between dog lovers and the unenlightened. In the States they have professional pooper-scooper services, Horsham District Council has considered CCTV to monitor misuse of dog waste bins and San Francisco is generating electricity from dog poo.

How can we deal with the dog waste problem? The situation has improved massively over the years, but a small number of dog owners still cause problems for the responsible majority. Is it the local council’s responsibility to provide special dog bins, or even go as far as Coventry Council once did and provide free dog waste bags?