Nearly 500 tonnes of dog waste is deposited in regional parks every year, and a million plastic bags end up in the waste stream. A 2011 pilot project in regional parks led to eco-friendly improvements in dog waste disposal today.
Metro Vancouver is leading the pack when it comes to dealing with dog poop in Regional Parks.
Regional parks receive more than 11.9 million visits annually, and it’s estimated 24 percent of park visitors are accompanied by at least one dog. To accommodate those visits – and dog poo breaks — Metro Vancouver has installed designated red dog waste-only bins in 15 of its regional parks and two greenways to divert dog poo from the landfill.
The process is simple: After dog owners deposit the poop in the bins, a contractor collects the bags and separates the contents, which is then processed to Ministry of Environment standards at a wastewater treatment plant.
The idea for designated dog waste bins was conceived as a result of pilot projects in 2011, which were started after parks staff noticed a large amount of dog waste in trash cans, raising concerns of potential health effects to solid waste workers.
The pilot program became the operations standard for regional parks and expanded. Bins will be installed all remaining Regional Parks by the end of 2018.
The program has been so successful that member municipalities such as Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver City, District of North Vancouver, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and the Township of Langley have started their own programs using the Metro Vancouver model.
To see more videos about Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks, visit our video gallery.