Dog litter 'is city's biggest dirt problem'

Cormac Murphy

DUBLINERS regard dog dirt as a bigger problem than litter from cigarettes, chewing gum or overflowing bins.

And almost half of the capital's residents think the city has become less clean in recent years.

The results of a wide-ranging survey show dog dirt is considered the second biggest litter problem after general rubbish.

While the majority always clean up after their dogs (63pc), some 7pc said they never did and 3pc said they rarely did.

In all, 37pc of owners have left the litter behind at some stage or other. Almost nine-in-10 said people should take more responsibility for their own dog's litter.

The survey of 400 people – including 136 dog owners – looking at attitudes to litter and how to tackle the problem was conducted by Millward Brown on behalf of Dublin City Council.


Some 66pc said they believed dog litter was a problem – though 89pc felt owners should clean up after their pet – and 49pc thought it was getting worse.

"The survey confirms what many people probably think – dog litter is perceived to be one of the city's most significant litter problems and not enough dog owners are taking responsibility for it," said Hugh Coughlan of the council's waste management section.

A majority of Dubliners (57pc) believe fines are not sufficiently enforced and only 26pc feel dog litter fines are enforced enough.

The council released the findings to coincide with the launch of its new public awareness campaign highlighting the public health dangers of dog litter.

The campaign is supported by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).