Let's talk about dog poop and dog leashes!

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Thank you for your feedback

Thank you for completing our surveys and providing your feedback on these important issues. The surveys are now closed. We have reviewed your feedback and have posted a summary below in the news feed section.


1. Encourage dog owners to pick up dog poop

We receive several complaints of dog poop left on fences, in parks and on trails and it seems like signage and enforcement are not working. This behaviour is not okay. It means people can't enjoy their time in parks and on trails as much as they'd like because dog poop is unhygienic and can be toxic and harmful to people and pets. Park and trail users shouldn't have to worry about stepping in it by accident and tracking it home on their shoes.


2. Encourage dog owners to keep dogs on a leashDog approaching person with a cane

We love seeing you walk your dog on local trails and in parks, however we receive several complaints about dogs being off-leash. It is a bylaw and you could be fined if you are caught walking your dog off-leash. Your dog is friendly with you but they can be threatening to other trail and park users including seniors and young children, even other dogs. It seems like signage and enforcement are not working.



Dog waste recycling container at a park

3. New locations for dog poop containers

Currently, there is one dog poop recycling container at each of these locations in Waterloo:

Bechtel Dog Park
St. Moritz Park
Lakeshore Optimist Park
McCrae Park
Rolling Hills Park
Chesapeake Park
Old Post Park

Red River Park
Mary Allen Park
Pinery Trail Park
Vista Hills Park
Waterloo Park East
Moses Springer


Dog owners pick up poop and drop it into these containers. Any type of bag can be used - they don't have to be compostable. A waste removal company empties the containers with a vacuum and transports the waste to be converted into energy.


The estimated environmental benefits are impressive. Since 2017, these containers:

  • collected 35.017 metric tonnes of dog waste
  • powered 82.23 homes for a year
  • removed the equivalent of 3.89 cars off the road for a year
  • divert about 1.3 to 1.5 metric tonnes of dog waste from the landfill every month!


Our goal is to grow this program, and install additional containers every year.

This fall, we are installing one new container at each of these locations:

  1. Bechtel Dog Park
  2. Waterloo Park West
  3. Larch Street
  4. New Hampshire Park
  5. Beechdrops Park

We chose these locations because they are high-traffic areas with lots of dogs!


In addition to the five containers listed above, we have budget to install another five units, for a total of 10 new units this year!

Our hope is that additional containers will encourage more dog owners to dispose of their dog poop properly. If we receive ideas for more than the five units we have budgeted, we will keep the list for future installations.


This is our city, our Waterloo. It's important we all do our part to follow the rules so people and pets stay safe, and our parks and trails remain beautiful and clean.

Thank you for your feedback

Thank you for completing our surveys and providing your feedback on these important issues. The surveys are now closed. We have reviewed your feedback and have posted a summary below in the news feed section.


1. Encourage dog owners to pick up dog poop

We receive several complaints of dog poop left on fences, in parks and on trails and it seems like signage and enforcement are not working. This behaviour is not okay. It means people can't enjoy their time in parks and on trails as much as they'd like because dog poop is unhygienic and can be toxic and harmful to people and pets. Park and trail users shouldn't have to worry about stepping in it by accident and tracking it home on their shoes.


2. Encourage dog owners to keep dogs on a leashDog approaching person with a cane

We love seeing you walk your dog on local trails and in parks, however we receive several complaints about dogs being off-leash. It is a bylaw and you could be fined if you are caught walking your dog off-leash. Your dog is friendly with you but they can be threatening to other trail and park users including seniors and young children, even other dogs. It seems like signage and enforcement are not working.



Dog waste recycling container at a park

3. New locations for dog poop containers

Currently, there is one dog poop recycling container at each of these locations in Waterloo:

Bechtel Dog Park
St. Moritz Park
Lakeshore Optimist Park
McCrae Park
Rolling Hills Park
Chesapeake Park
Old Post Park

Red River Park
Mary Allen Park
Pinery Trail Park
Vista Hills Park
Waterloo Park East
Moses Springer


Dog owners pick up poop and drop it into these containers. Any type of bag can be used - they don't have to be compostable. A waste removal company empties the containers with a vacuum and transports the waste to be converted into energy.


The estimated environmental benefits are impressive. Since 2017, these containers:

  • collected 35.017 metric tonnes of dog waste
  • powered 82.23 homes for a year
  • removed the equivalent of 3.89 cars off the road for a year
  • divert about 1.3 to 1.5 metric tonnes of dog waste from the landfill every month!


Our goal is to grow this program, and install additional containers every year.

This fall, we are installing one new container at each of these locations:

  1. Bechtel Dog Park
  2. Waterloo Park West
  3. Larch Street
  4. New Hampshire Park
  5. Beechdrops Park

We chose these locations because they are high-traffic areas with lots of dogs!


In addition to the five containers listed above, we have budget to install another five units, for a total of 10 new units this year!

Our hope is that additional containers will encourage more dog owners to dispose of their dog poop properly. If we receive ideas for more than the five units we have budgeted, we will keep the list for future installations.


This is our city, our Waterloo. It's important we all do our part to follow the rules so people and pets stay safe, and our parks and trails remain beautiful and clean.

  • Feedback results

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    Results from our dog poop, dog leash and dog waste recycling containers surveys

    Thank you for contributing to our surveys. We are thankful to all those who provided feedback. The information below is a brief summary of what we heard from the survey respondents. We have posted detailed feedback in the document library.


    Dog poop survey – 839 responses

    Survey idea

    # of respondents who said it could work

    # of respondents who said it was a terrible idea

    # of respondents who said they loved the idea

    Dog poop pick-up days

    426

    299

    60

    QR code/photo contest

    427

    187

    186

    Poop-free contest – fewest complaints

    332

    287

    130


    Dog leash survey – 678 responses

    Survey idea

    # of respondents who said it could work

    # of respondents who said it was a terrible idea

    # of respondents who said they loved the idea

    Dog leash days

    326

    186

    71

    Dogs on leash photo contest

    264

    182

    159

    Leash contest – fewest complaints

    272

    236

    80



    Suggested locations for additional dog waste recycling containers

    • There were 422 pins marked on the map, and 74 entries posted on our ideas tool, all representing suggestions for additional dog poop recycling containers. This map provides an overview of where the community would like us to install additional dog waste recycling containers.



    Survey themes

    The following themes were prevalent in the dog leash survey:

    • Let them know people are afraid of dogs
    • Steeper fines, more enforcement
    • More leash-free dog parks
    • Partner with local dog organizations on a campaign
    • Create more off-leash areas, create timelines for off-leash use in parks etc.

    The following themes were prevalent in the dog poop survey:

    • Social media awareness
    • More signage, more enforcement
    • More trash bins and more dog waste recycling containers
    • Steep fines and a set of effective channels of reporting misbehaviour from dog owners
    • Partner with dog organizations for a campaign


    Next steps

    Based on feedback received, city staff are now exploring several options to support the goal of keeping dogs on-leash and proper dog poop disposal. Please note: we cannot guarantee that we’ll implement all of these ideas; budget, council approval and other factors may impact our approach.

    Option Details Timeline

    Install one dog waste recycling container at each of these locations

    • Bechtel Park
    • Waterloo Park West
    • Larch Street
    • New Hampshire Park
    • Beechdrops Park

    Fall 2021

    Install five additional dog waste recycling containers based on community feedback

    Locations still to be determined – based on locations marked on map

    Fall 2021

    Full-scale communications plan to increase awareness

    May include social media, radio and newspaper ads, improved signage, etc.

    Fall 2021

    Brochures handed out at time of dog-tag registration

    Remind dog owners of the bylaws associated with dog waste and dog leashes

    Fall 2021

    Launch dog leash and dog poop contests

    Tweak ideas suggested in the dog poop and dog leash surveys to engage as many dog owners as possible

    Spring 2022

    Directional signage in parks

    Show dog owners the location of nearest trash bin/recycling container

    TBD

    Increase frequency of trash bin collection

    In areas where a recycling container does not exist

    TBD

    Enforcement

    Fewer warnings, more fines and increased fine amounts

    TBD

    More leash-free dog parks

    Confirm timeline for the new leash-free dog park on the west side of Waterloo, and explore the option of designating certain parks leash-free during certain times of the day

    TBD


    We will post updates as we make progress on the options listed above. Please be sure to follow this project to receive updates as we move forward.

Page last updated: 13 July 2021, 11:49