Problem Solver - August 2013
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Encourage Pet Owners to Clean Up

Parks should be beautiful spaces where people gather for fun and camaraderie, or to spend time enjoying nature all on their own. If they arrive only to find the park cluttered with litter and pet waste, it reflects poorly on you, and they're not likely to come back. When you provide ways to encourage pet owners and other patrons to clean up after themselves, everyone wins.

Q: How can we make it easier for pet owners and other park visitors to clean up after themselves?

A: Everyone knows that they ought to clean up after their pets, but many people still don't remember to bring along doggie waste bags. You should consider adding pet waste stations at your site, so they'll have no excuse. These stations include a receptacle for pet waste, as well as litter pickup bags. The bag dispenser also includes instructions on how to use the pet waste station.

Be sure to place receptacles and pet waste stations in a visible area. Good choices are along walking trails, as well as at park entrances and in areas where people gather.

Q: We want to be sure that all of our park furnishings and amenities are environmentally friendly. How can we be sure our pet-waste solutions are green?

A: Oxo-biodegradable litter pick-up bags can be used along with your pet waste stations to help you make your site a little more eco-friendly. These bags are made of recycled content and are biodegradable. In addition to the litter pick-up bags, you can find biodegradable trash bags to serve as liners for your receptacles. This makes your entire waste disposal system a little greener.

Q: What else should we consider?

A: It's important to let park visitors know the rules. Post rules about picking up in a visible area, such as the park entrance, as well as near picnic areas. The rules should include a directive for pet owners, telling them they have to pick up after their pets. Regular patrols of your park will help ensure everyone's following the rule. Be sure to empower the patrolling employee to warn pet owners caught leaving waste on the ground that's it's their job to clean up. They can then point out the easy-to-use pet waste stations.