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The scoop: Company offers free dog waste receptacles to Waterloo Region

Tegan Versolatto CTV News Kitchener Videographer @TeganVersolatto Contact

Published Tuesday, March 16, 2021 1:06PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, March 16, 2021 7:39PM EDT


KITCHENER -- A company is offering Waterloo Region hundreds of free, environmentally-friendly dog waste receptacles to deal with mounting concerns over mounds of dog poo.


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If dog waste is not properly contained, fecal contaminations of water can introduce a variety of pathogens into waterways.


It’s an issue that Sutera In-Ground wants area-municipalities and the region to address.


“In the Region of Waterloo there's about 95,000 dogs, producing about 12,000 tones [of waste] annually,” said Steven Cseresnyesi, vice president of Sutera In-Ground.


Sutera produces pet waste containers that have a concrete well in order to prevent contamination. The poop is then collected and brought to a local power plant where its turned into energy.


“I believe it's people's responsibility to pick up after their dog, yet at the same time, it's the municipalities and the governments' responsibility to provide infrastructure to support those desired behaviours,” he said.


Waterloo and Cambridge already have some units installed for residents to use, and now Sutera is offering the region 250 of the stations for free, a cost of about $875,000. Although the region would still be on the hook for the $145/month service fee per container.


Jon Arsenault, director of waste management for Waterloo Region, says they haven't made any decisions yet.


“We need to do more a little more investigation ourselves with our counterparts at the local area municipalities,” he said.


He says that installation of the units would require time and money, adding that in order to make the investment worth it, the region wants assurance that people would use them.


“Dog waste is left on the ground or people won't pick up,” said Arsenault. “So, there is a bit of a social behavioural impact there that we are certainly aware of in the world of waste.”


In statements to CTV News, both Waterloo and Cambridge say they are open to expanding their partnerships with the company.


“The units are well received by the public with residents requesting a unit for their local neighbourhood park,” stated an email from a spokesperson for the City of Waterloo. “We have noted that a park with a unit tends to have less dog waste on the ground. As well, the odour is minimal compared to our open garbage receptacles.”


“We look forward to further discussions with the Region about the potential to expand this service,” read a statement from the City of Cambridge.


However, Kitchener says they have “no imminent plans” to add the in-ground bins to parks and open spaces.

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