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It's no good bagging dog poo if we don't have bins to dump the waste

I got into serious trouble last year when RTE's John Murray Show spotted me on a Dodder Action river clean-up – throwing dog poo into the river.

I was told I was a menace to society – not to mention fish, birds and other wildlife. Did I not know how toxic dog poo was, I was asked?

I didn't, really. I know now I should have brought the dog poo home and put it in my compost bin.

But I refuse to accept that I should have taken the local council's advice and put it in a plastic bag. What is the sense in putting poo in a plastic bag which will be buried in landfill and take hundreds of years to degrade?

By which point it will have leaked plastic all over the environment, causing damage to the wildlife we're trying to protect? How stupid is that?

Nonetheless Dublin City Council has a nifty campaign going on, with the slogan: "Bag the poo, any bin will do". They sent me a box of bags after my John Murray fiasco.

CHEMICALS

But when I tried to use them I ended up with contents all over my hands because the bags were ripped down one side.

Maybe it was just a bad batch. But it kind of made a point.

Put dog poo into a bag and it will look neat today but in a few decades it will be all over the shop, along with a lot of horrible plastic chemicals.

And, as if that wasn't bad enough, when your plastic bag is full there are no bins in sight.

"Any bin will do", alright, but along the Dodder between Clonskeagh Bridge and Orwell Road, Rathgar there is precisely one bin. That's a distance of perhaps two miles of heavily-used public parkland.

There is a bin for fag ends by the Dropping Well pub and "Any bin will do" is taken literally by some people, because it is often bulging with poo bags. Must be a horrible job for the bar workers to clean it up.

So, some dog owners have taken matters into their own hands – literally – and have created little mounds of plastic poo bags in tidy corners.

The bags build up steadily. There were 13 bags at Clonskeagh Bridge at the weekend and 17 at the Packhorse Bridge in Milltown.

There are Tesco freezer bags as well as scented bags in baby blues and pinks. Multi-coloured mounds wrapped in indestructible plastic for generations of passers-by to enjoy.

Nothing excuses this disgusting practice. But Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Council makes it very easy for destructive individuals to do things like this by providing no bins on that stretch of Dodder Park.

Where there are bins – on the Rathfarnham side of Orwell Road – they are often bursting with poo bags.

If this is the performance of a local authority in a capital city beside one of the finest city rivers in Europe – God help us all.

RUBBISH

There seems to be no game plan for rubbish in public parks and no recognition that people will walk dogs and dog will poo.

What about biodegradable paper poo scoops? What about compost bins? What about divided bins with sections for the beer cans which will litter our parks as the summer comes in?

What about a paper section for newspapers and sandwich wrappers?

What would be wrong with thinking things through and doing things right? God knows.

But one thing's for sure, there is no point in the Council progressing their idea of turning Dodder Linear Park into a fabulous cycle path and walkway if they're cool with us putting our dogs' poo in neat little plastic bags and not giving us bins to put them in.

DODDER ACTION'S DODDER DAY IS APRIL 12TH WITH VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CLEAN-UPS ALONG THE RIVER. SEE WWW.DODDERACTIONDUBLIN.COM


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