If dogs could post on Facebook, they would be urging the government to extend the lockdowns, and doggies will be so lean and fit, they will be expecting long daily walks every day and night of the week until one or the other falls over from exhaustion.
Anytime you want to get an idea of how many dogs live in Christchurch, take a seat at the beaches lining our long coastline. One trait consistent for dogs is, lockdowns do not mean bowel shut downs.
New Brighton Resident Association Chair Celeste Donovan says her beach walks (without canine) have revealed a lot more doggie bags in or out of bins and a good and bad thing, with the bad the sight of bags left on beaches and dunes nowhere near bins:
“All dog poo bags currently on the market are made from plastic. Some of them are made from plant material and may be advertised as compostable or biodegradable. Others are made from oil and may be advertised as degradable. However, regardless of the claim, all of these bags are a type of plastic and if littered they can pose a threat to marine and river life as they won’t necessarily break down quickly in water.”
She says in response to messages from responsible dog owners concerned about the increase in dog litter, it was a good time to feature a reminder of good practice. And thanks to ‘Eirwen’ for this information.
Dog faeces can contain campylobacter, E. coli and salmonella type bacteria, along with various parasite worms, which can all be transferred to humans. For these reasons dog faeces should never be left in the open environment where it can be eaten by other dogs or enter waterways.
It should also not be added to a compost system where the compost is to be used on vegetable gardens or fruit trees. If you want to compost your dog’s faeces at home use a separate system and apply to flower gardens only.
“For those with no bags and allowing dogs complete natural instincts on our beach or footpath, dog shit can take up to a year to break down and pose a risk with the transfer of pathogens.”
Ms Donovan says our old friend Winnie the Poo said once, “the smallest things can take up so much room” and only just realised how appropriate that was:
“With more poo and general rubbish filling bins faster the message from the City Council is: “If you’re in a park with your dog, please bag any dog poo and take it home with you and put in in your red wheelie bin.” This means limited staff don’t have to leave bubbles to empty them.
Celeste Donovan says the advice given to her is not flush their doggy excrement down the toilet as the waste-water system is not really geared up for anything other than human waste and may lead to bags being flushed as well. It seems the best place other than trying to sort at home through ‘special’ composting methods, is to send it to the landfill.
She says the good news is the continuing roll out of ‘smart bins’ and we should see these in other well-used public spaces around the Coastal area soon including the Rawhiti Domain area.
Smart bins will be a saving for Council because they don’t require as many empties with larger capacity and sensor technology providing contractors with daily data round rubbish levels, and crews will only visit when necessary.
It remains to be seen if the new bins become so clever, they can move around and remind careless people not to drop used face-masks where-ever they like.
In low use neighbourhood parks litter bins have been removed entirely, and instead people encouraged to take any rubbish home with them to dispose of in the red wheelie bin.