Council removing dog waste litter bins? ‘An April Fools joke that’s a pile of poo’

Jess the pug thinks removing dog litter bins is a pile of poo...

Jess the pug thinks removing dog litter bins is a pile of poo... - Credit: Archant

Currently there are 432 bins for dog waste, but from next week North Herts District Council will ditch 260 of these in a move which will save £29,000 a year – including an additional £2,000 to £3,000 bill for the work required to change the bins.

North Herts District Council signs for dog waste

North Herts District Council signs for dog waste - Credit: Archant

An additional 80 litter bins will be installed across the district’s parks to cope with demand, and the council says as the rebranded bins are emptied more frequently there will be less chance of them overflowing.

The council confirmed around 1,300 bins in North Herts will be now accept dog faeces. Some of the dog waste bins which will remain are funded by a ‘third party’, and will continue to be maintained by them.

There will also be a campaign – ‘Bag it, Bin it’ – to raise awareness of the changes, which were agreed at a council meeting in February.

However the move has attracted criticism from dog owners and environmentalists as the mixing of dog waste and general rubbish raises public health issues, as well as questions about the lack of sealed lids on the bins to prevent rats and flies.

Danny Pearson who has a pug called Jess reacted to the news, saying: “It’s a dog’s dinner of a terrible idea for lots of reasons.

“With summer coming up dog waste in bins without lids will absolutely stink.

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“It has to be an April Fools joke? The idea is simply a pile of poo.

“How much money have they wasted on the town hall fiasco? It’s a sad state of affairs when a council can’t find money for hygeine issues.”

Richard Cano from the North Herts and Stevenage Green Party also blasted the decision saying: “This policy is truly shocking.

“The irony is they plan on taking away our bins on April 1.

“Well it’s far from a joke! They must think that we are the fools if they think we are going to stand by and allow this to happen.

“The sketchy plan is that they intend to replace some with mixed poo and rubbish. What will happen to the recycling of this rubbish if it will be contaminated from here on?

“Do they not think this policy will encourage those that use the poo bins, daily, to consider adding to the disgusting displays of bagged poo in the bushes and trees that we already see? It seems highly likely to me.

“This is a clear case of saving money without consideration. Or, worse still, if the consideration is there, then without any care for the people and environment they, supposedly, represent.”

The council confirmed there are more than 1,000 litter bins around North Herts – meaning that there will be more than 1,300 bins in our area that will potentially contain dog faeces in from April 1 in order to save £29,000.

Councillor Judi Billing told the Comet: “I’m absolutely horrified to hear of another incredibly stupid cut that will damage the environment and make our streets and parks unsafe for children to play in.

“Local councillors have not been consulted properly on this issue and the impact it will have on the people they represent and the public places they use. Which makes this council incompetent at every level.

“Ironically the £29,000 they say they’re saving roughly equates to the pay rises Conservative councillors voted themselves.”

Vaughan Watson, the district council’s head of leisure and environmental services, said: “As we all know, the funding structures that have been in place until now are being seriously eroded at all levels by central government and cost cutting decisions like this are being made by local authorities across the country.

“Currently NHDC spends more than £29,000 every year to maintain the 432 dog bins across the district. Sending the waste collected from litter bins together with dog waste to landfill for disposal will cut costs and will have less of an impact on our communities than other options considered.”

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