Some waste is more challenging than others

June 9, 2008

Healthy Environment

This week, we had a open house to get public input on the draft recommendations of the Waste Management Master Plan Committee.  The committee introduced a Waste Stewardship Convenant, a vision of zero waste, diversion targets (55% by 2011, 65% by 2016 and 70% by 2021) along with programs and policies to minimize waste generation and divert waste from landfill.

There is no question, we produce a lot of waste in our community.  And some of that waste is more challenging to deal with than others.

Dog waste is one of the tricky ones. 

The first step is encouraging dog owners to “poop and scoop” – as a frequent trail walker I know that not everyone does.  But once you have stooped to scoop, what then?  Some take their wee plastic bags home with them.  Others use waste receptacles provided in our parks.  In both cases, much of this waste is going to landfill at the end of the day – not the best place.

One solution that other communities have implemented is providing biodegradable bags in dispensers (usually sponsored by the private sector) and dedicated receptacles for dog waste.  In this way, this sorted waste stream can be collected for composting.  

One of the people who attended the open house this week had an intriquing idea – a twist on what other communities have been doing with biodegradable bags.  What if we used vermiculture (worm) composters as the receptacles and let the worms do their magic on site.  She even suggested that we could locate the receptacles where we are planning to plant a tree in a following year.  This way, there would be rich compost to help that newly planted tree and the composter could be moved along.

Maybe it could work.  I’m not sure. However, I do appreciate the helpful and creative suggestion.  And the idea will be considered.


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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2 Comments on “Some waste is more challenging than others”

  1. Alan Pickersgill Says:

    This is an excellent idea.

    Whenever we have the granddog over, we use biodegradable bags we buy at the pet food shop on the corner of Metcalfe and Eramosa. They come in rolls that fit in containers attached to the handle of the leash. The trouble is that the bags are blue so we can’t put them into the green waste bags.

    Worm composters in the parks would be great. I wonder how quickly they would eat up the waste, and how to deal with the plastic grocery bags that will inevitably get tossed in?

  2. Susan Haeden Says:

    I have never like carrying the bags…especially on long walks with my dogs. I find myself looking for trash can or somewhere to put the bag – or – even cut my walks short. I have a neighbor that sometimes puts it in her pocket….ewwwwwww!

    Found a great solution called the Doody Dangler. This is my new favorate thing. It attaches to the leash (slipknot style) and then has a lock that allows you to synch the bag on your leash so you don’t have to carry the bag. Works!!

    Try it…you will love it. And it’s fairly inexpensive (roughly $5.00)

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