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Rubbish bin may make return after walkers dump dog poo in Auckland suburb

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Apr 2024, 9:32pm
The pile of poo bags at a popular dog-walking area in Remuera where Auckland Council has removed a rubbish bin.
The pile of poo bags at a popular dog-walking area in Remuera where Auckland Council has removed a rubbish bin.

Rubbish bin may make return after walkers dump dog poo in Auckland suburb

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Apr 2024, 9:32pm

An Ōrākei Local Board member says the removal of a rubbish bin as part of a cost-cutting measure is no reason to dump dog faeces in protest, but the bin could be reinstated.

It comes after the Herald revealed dog walkers in the wealthy suburb of Remuera have been dumping bags of dog poo at the entrance to a popular dog-walking area.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan tonight, Ōrākei Local Board member Troy Churton said the protest about “the loss of some bins that used to exist is duly noted”.

“But that’s no reason to carry on leaving your dog s*** in a certain area where there was once a bin,” Churton said.

Churton said that in June last year, local boards across the region were asked to “swallow an instruction from governing body” to find ways of reducing certain services due to funding cuts.

“Some of the bins that were taken can be reinstated because it’s easier to swallow a rates increase, I guess, when you know that the service levels you’ve become accustomed to are being maintained,” he said.

Churton said he would “absolutely” talk with his board to “see what we can do” about the situation in Ōrākei.

“There’s no basis for an argument that having fewer bins means less collection costs.”

One woman walking her 3-year-old spoodle called Milo yesterday morning was shocked to find a pile of about a dozen or more plastic bags of poo at the entrance of a pathway leading to the Ōrākei Basin off Upland Rd.

“Dog owners, either in optimistic expectation that the bin will be replaced or in protest at its removal, are continuing to deposit their dog’s doings in bags in the spot where the bin once stood,” said the woman, who did not want to be named.

The pile of poo bags at a popular dog-walking area in Remuera where Auckland Council has removed a rubbish bin.
The pile of poo bags at a popular dog-walking area in Remuera where Auckland Council has removed a rubbish bin.

She said Ōrākei Basin, particularly the lawn area on the southern side, is popular with dog walkers because it is an off-leash area.

The pile of poo bags is alongside a council sign, designating it an off-leash dog exercise area.

Martin Wong, the council’s area operations manager for Waitematā and Ōrākei, confirmed the bin at the entrance to Ōrākei Basin had been removed, saying there is a bin not far away in the carpark area for dog walkers and visitors to use.

He said it is irresponsible to dump dog waste in other people’s bins, yards or “our environment”.

“If a bin didn’t exist in a place before, then most people would take their waste away with them. The reduction in rubbish bins shouldn’t result in any different behaviour,” Wong said.

He said most dog owners are responsible and dispose of dog waste by walking to the nearest bin or taking it home.

“We have noticed that some dog walkers have deposited their dog waste where rubbish bins have been removed. We have also noticed other park users calling out this behaviour which has seen this behaviour slow down,” he said.

This morning a woman contacted the Herald about bags of dog poo lying in a spot at the Meola Reef dog park in Pt Chevalier where a bin has been removed. It is understood the pile of bags has been there for some time. Access to the popular dog park has been limited to dog walkers – and council staff – due to work on the Pt Chevalier to Westmere road improvements and cycleway project.

A pile of dog poo bags at the Meola Reef dog park in Pt Chevalier.
A pile of dog poo bags at the Meola Reef dog park in Pt Chevalier.

Since November last year, the council has been binning bins with low historical use. The number had reduced from 10,000 to 7000 by the end of March, as part of a cost-cutting drive in this year’s budget to save $1.4 million annually.

Last month, the Herald reported Aucklanders turning to social media en masse to complain about the sudden removal of public rubbish bins across the city.

Dog owners have been left clutching putrid sacks of faeces and morning walkers have been shocked to find bins on popular tracks across the city suddenly replaced by bare dirt.

A site on the Devonport waterfront where a council rubbish bin has been removed.
A site on the Devonport waterfront where a council rubbish bin has been removed.

People shared concerns over dog droppings in the harbourside suburb of Devonport.

“Where have all the rubbish bins gone?” one irate local asked online.

“Do we now just throw our dog s*** and fish and chip wrappers into the sea?”

The woman who contacted the Herald about the Ōrākei pile of bags said she took her dog’s effort home in the car.

“I am finding that the recyclable doggy doo bags sold in supermarkets may be waterproof but are not smell-proof as I found, to my shame, when I put it inside another non-recyclable bag.

“I blame the removal of the bin for straying from the path of environmental conscientiousness,” she said.

This article was originally posted on the NZ Herald here. 

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