'Take it home': Council face dog dirt dilemma in Skegness

Councillors in Skegness are facing a dog dirt dilemma after changes in the collection of waste.

Bags of poo are being left in trees just yards away from bins.
Bags of poo are being left in trees just yards away from bins.

They are urging walkers to use the dog bins provided or take the poop bags home. .

The dilemma comes following an increase in the amount of dog waste being put with general waste and problems regarding separating it.

"Over the past 12 months the amount of dog waste being placed into waste bins on council land has increased a lot," said Mr Larner. "This has caused a problem for our waste contractor as the dog waste is getting into machinery and causing a hazard for operators and requiring machines to be cleaned and decontaminated.

Dog walkers sometimes leave bags under the bins rather than putting them inside.

"Small amounts of waste that goes into a mixed general waste is not a problem, but for some bins it now represents a significant proportion. There are also then problems with the ongoing disposal of the waste as it is regarded as contaminated and should be treated as hazardous waste.

"Most of the dog waste is coming from Vine, Coronation and King George V Walks and Beresford Field. Tower Gardens and the play parks are not at a level of concern.

"The issue needs to be resolved otherwise we will have overflowing bins during the season."

A proposal to buy 13 new dog bins for the walks was put before Skegness Town Council at their meeting last week.

It was also recommended by Mr Larner that a specialist waste collection service for dog waste should be introduced and paid for by reserves.

Initial costs including new bins and liners would be £4200, with annual revenue costs £2100.

However, councillors felt buying more bins could be a waste of money following complaints from the public that people were not using the bins already provided.

Earlier in the public meeting, former councillor John Byford had complained about the amount of dog poo that was being left around town.

"I have a dog and exercise him around town and I have to say I am appalled at the amount of dog waste that is not being cleared up," he said.

"I am a responsible owner and pick up when when to go to dog bins there are a number of bags just thrown on the floor because people do not like lifting the lid.

"I've also seen dog bags hanging in trees and this is just not acceptable - one was hanging just a few yards from where there is a bin.

"It's not the dog's fault, it's the owner's - something needs to be done about this."

However, with the rising cost of living councillors did not think it was the right time to be spending money on bins, the cost of which which ultimately be added to the precept.

Coun Mark Andrews said: "Our residents are paying three times to get the dog waste removed taking into account the charges from other authorities and now we are asking them to pay again?

"This is wrong."

And Coun Ady Findley said he thought buying more bins would not solve the problem. "I walk my dog on the beach and people are leaving bags by the bins," he said. "i don't think buying more bins will make a difference."

"Education is key here," suggested Coun Dan Kirk. "We need to encourage people to use the dog waste bins or take bags home - otherwise we'll be in deep poo."

Coun Steve Kirk said he would be happy to talk to ELDC to see if some other arrangement could be made.

In the meantime, the council decided to defer agreeing to buy more bins until they had heard back but to produce some laminated posters encouraging people to use dog waste bins or take the bags home.