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26 Sept 2022

Laois town winning the war on dog waste

Laois town winning the war on dog waste

Mohammad Chama, Mason White and Shane Morris with Nipsey in Mountmellick. Photo: Denis Byrne

A Laois town is turning the tide on discarded dog waste, thanks to the ongoing effort by the local Tidy Towns volunteers and Laois County Council.

Mountmellick's streets are looking cleaner as a result of their hard work, the Tidy Towns chair Maura Reddin says.

"We have nearly a dozen Mutt Mitt dog bag dispensers around the town now, with more gone up recently. Hopefully people will use them. 

"They are certainly helping. You are not going to eradicate it completely but it is helping," she said.

The committee also recently welcomed several new public bins along walking routes to make it easier to bin the bags. They have handy blue dog dispenser bag holders to give away too, ideal to clip onto a collar or lead.

Below: Mountmellick Tidy Towns Committee Maura Reddin, Ciss Geoghegan, Barbara Lawlor, Kitty Creighton and Bobby Delaney with dog owner Eddie Hickey. Photo Denis Byrne

Bobby Delaney is a Tidy Towns member.

"At the start when the Mutt Mitts were installed, some were taken and thrown around the town, that is happening much less. There is a visible improvement on the footpaths. We are getting less complaints about dog waste. People are complimenting us for making the effort. But you still get the small percentage who are breaking the law," he said.

The Tidy Towns members took on the responsibility of refilling the boxes with the strong, biodegradable plastic dog bags. They also have reminder signs around the town as well as a mural to get the 'bag it, bin it' message home. 

Meanwhile the council Environment section's other dog waste campaign, the Green Dog Walker Programme, is gaining in members. Dog owners can sign up, get the jacket, and pledge to: Always clean up after their dog, Carry extra dog waste bags, Gladly give you a dog waste bag for your dog, just ask.

Dom Reddin from the Environment section reports an uptake.

"This summe we had 50 additional wardens sign up to the programme. It is part of our year round publicity campaign against dog fouling. We have installed 98 Mutt Mitt dispensers around Laois in the past three years and more are requested so it is working but we need public participation. We ask people to use a bag if their dog fouls and take it away.

"It's an ongoing problem, and going into the dark nights now it will be harder to see on footpaths, so please be vigilant. There are fines and ultimately it comes back to dog owner responsibility," he said.

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