Tuesday 20 February 2018

Plan to set up talking lamp-posts across city to stop dog-fouling

Audio devices that used to be in lamppost that lead to an 80 percent drop in dog fouling in Baldoyle
Audio devices that used to be in lamppost that lead to an 80 percent drop in dog fouling in Baldoyle
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

TALKING lamp-posts may be used to deter dog-fouling right across Dublin.

The bizarre initiative is part of a new litter management plan for the city council.

Included in the plan is a promise to examine whether the "talking lamp-posts" could be used to clamp down on the problem.

"They play pre-recorded messages reminding walkers to look after their dog litter in blackspots across the city," the report reads.

"Small audio devices are fitted to lamp-posts in areas with high levels of dog walkers."

The messages would play regularly throughout the day and early evening.

On Monday night in city hall the notion caused a stir among councillors.

Fine Gael councillor Paddy McCartan described the idea as "a hare-brained scheme".

"Given that everything has to be bilingual will they speak as Gaeilge too?" he asked the chamber.

Also concerned with the language that the messages would be delivered in was Deirdre Heney, a Fianna Fail candidate for Dublin central.

"Are they going to be in a language that dogs can understand?" she queried.

Ms Heaney was concerned that the new technology could be a waste of the city's money.

A council official informed councillors that the talking lamp-posts were in place on Howth Head, under Fingal County Council, and that they work quite well. He did not know if the lamp-posts in Howth spoke in two languages.

Another initiative included in the plan to combat the issue of dog-fouling is a 12-week ad campaign where dog owners will be asked to take a 'selfie' while out walking and post on social media with the hashtag 'binthepoo'.


The issue of dog fouling was "the single biggest issue raised by Dubliners during the public consultation for this plan" the report states. One third of those who responded cited it as a problem in the capital.

Bins for dog waste will be re-instated into parks around the city and blackspots will also be identified for regular power washing under the new proposals.

The plan, which also covers measures to tackle illegal dumping in the city, will go for public consultation after Christmas.

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