‘It’s going to get very unpleasant very quickly’ – Royston dog walkers react to removal of dog waste bins along walking routes

PUBLISHED: 11:52 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:11 07 April 2017

Dog poo bins have been removed, and their metal frames left. Picture: Sally Hale.

Dog poo bins have been removed, and their metal frames left. Picture: Sally Hale.

Archant

Dog walkers in Royston have slammed the decision to remove dog poo bins in the area – leaving the metal frames in their place, and less places to dispose of their pooches’ poo along walking routes around Therfield Heath and Burloes Farm.

Several dog poo bins have been removed in Royston, and this pole has a printed version of the council's plans attached.  Picture: Sally Hale.Several dog poo bins have been removed in Royston, and this pole has a printed version of the council's plans attached. Picture: Sally Hale.

There are 432 bins for dog waste across the North Herts district, but 260 of these are being ditched in a move to save North Herts District Council £29,000 a year – including an additional £2,000 to £3,000 bill for the work required to change the bins.

But it’s emerged that as bins are being removed people are leaving bags of poo on the ground by the metal frames – and over on the Twigdens estate, bags have been tied to the poles.

Sally Hale, of Bedlam Avenue, regularly takes her dog out around Burloes Farm,

She said: “I noticed it on Wednesday and first thought the bins had been vandalised.

The Royston dog poo patrollers have collected as much as 16kg of poo from the heath in one patrol.  Picture: Sally MarchantThe Royston dog poo patrollers have collected as much as 16kg of poo from the heath in one patrol. Picture: Sally Marchant

“I think it’s been handled badly because they took away the bins – which were very few and far between anyway.

“Royston already has a problem with dog poo, and this is just adding to it – with the weather getting warmer, it’s going to get very unpleasant very quickly.”

Francesca Hill, of the Royston dog poo patrollers, said: “I think the problem lies in the fact that the red bins were removed with no sufficient mixed-waste bins put into place first.

“People are dropping their full poo bags under the empty metal poles so in that sense there are already problems.

“The number of bins they have said they’re going to replace is apparently much less than the number of bins being removed, which doesn’t sound very sensible.

“I think until an equilibrium is reached where everyone recognises that they can use the general waste bins, we’ll maybe see an increase in poo just being left.

“Some may take the removal of the very obvious red bins as a sign they no longer have to bin it.”

However, fellow poo patroller Sally Marchant said: “I think it’s a great idea as the bins will be emptied more regularly. What more could dog owners ask for than to have easier access to regularly emptied bins.”

In wake of the original announcement, district council environmental services chief Vaughan Watson 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.

“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.”

A district council spokeswoman added today: “We apologise for any confusion for the removal of the dog bins before additional litter bins have been installed and where posts have remained.

“We aim to have all the remaining posts removed by the weekend – however in the meantime we urge dog owners to be responsible and to use litter bins to dispose of dog waste or use their purple bins at home.

“Our contractors are in the process of installing an additional 80 all-purpose litter bins to replace the dog waste bins.

“We are sure that once residents are used to the new arrangement they will see the benefit, as it will mean increased frequency of emptying. Litter bins will be maintained daily – more frequently than dog bins, which were maintained weekly.”

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