Opposition Conservative councillors at Cotswold District Council are urging the council to increase the number of dog waste bins at popular dog walking locations and local parks, whilst also increasing the frequency they are emptied.
An unexpected consequence of Covid-19 has been the escalation of dog ownership. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, over 12 million of us now own a dog and their Covid-19 Pet Survey confirms a staggering rise in pet acquisition with dogs being the most popular at 57%. It is thought the number of dog owners is much higher in the Cotswolds compared to the national average.
Consequently, many Cotswold locations suffer from a huge increase of dog waste causing the waste bins to fill up quickly. It is also common to see dog waste bags lying on the ground around overflowing bins, photos of which regularly appear on social media.
Despite the sizeable increase in dog ownership in the Cotswolds, the number of local dog waste collection bins and the frequency in which they are emptied has mostly remained at pre-covid levels.
The problem is so bad, that some local groups are taking matters into their own hands. Tetbury Town Council for example are emptying the dog waste bins themselves and storing the waste in a council car park until CDC can come and collect it and dispose of it hygienically.
Requests for extra dog waste bins and more frequent collections by other town and parish councils have been turned down, even if they are prepared to pay for new bins themselves. These councils are currently being told that CDC service is at maximum capacity and extra waste bins and collections are unavailable at this time.
This issue is now going to be raised at a full council meeting after opposition councillors tabled a motion to try and resolve the issue.
Cllr Julia Judd (Ermin Ward) said,
“I am really hopeful that my motion will highlight the importance of this issue, and that the administration will immediately provide the necessary funding to bring this essential service up to the required level.
For more than a decade, we have been telling responsible owners to pick up after their dog, bag it and then bin it. It is obvious the council are now not holding up their end of the bargain.
We do not want these dog waste bags being left in or around our local community, or worse still disposed of incorrectly and contaminating our other waste and recycling collection services”.