There were a few scoffs of disbelief around the council chamber this week as it was revealed that the Wexford Borough District is spending over €50,000 a year on plastic bags for people to pick up their dog's poo.
The revelation came from District Manager Angela Laffan in responding to a query from Cllr Davy Hynes regarding the possibility of replacing the current bags with biodegradable ones for dog dirt.
'The public procurement officer is looking at it,' she said. 'Currently it's costing in the region of fifty or sixty thousand a year. We've managed to source a cheaper alternative and the new bags will also be biodegradable.'
Borough Engineer Sean Kavanagh said: 'What we spent last year is no longer sustainable. We will have to significantly cut back on this.'
Ms Laffan responded that the alternative that had been sourced was working out at a 'fraction of the price'.
'Dog fouling is an issue that plagues councillors,' Cllr George Lawlor said.
'We can't roll back on offering the plastic bags now.'
'It has been hugely successful and the bags were ordered as required. The new option will be both cheaper and more environmentally friendly.'
Cllr Davy Hynes was inclined to agree.
'You have to remember, if we didn't have the cost of the bags, we'd have the cost of cleaning up the dog dirt,' he said.