Friday, 19 March, 2021
Surrey Heath Borough Council and their partners Eco Green Communities continue to help tackle dog fouling through their improved free dog waste bag stations.
The 80 stations across the Borough dispense free biodegradable dog waste bags to help local dog walkers pick up after their pet.
And soon each station will also include a QR code which users can scan with their smartphone to quickly and easily let the Council know when the bags on a particular station need refilling.
SHBC teamed up with Eco Green Communities (formerly TiksPac) in 2016 and trialled six stations, with the aim of reducing the impact of dog fouling in the parks and open spaces of Surrey Heath.
Due to their impact, the following year forty stations were placed at various popular dog walking locations, and where fouling had been a problem. Sponsored by local businesses, the stations meant that having no bag was no longer an excuse for people to not pick up after their pet.
Supported by SHBC’s canine campaigner Keith the black labrador, locals are encouraged to #BagItAndBinIt, to help keep Surrey Heath clean, green and safe.
Promoting the use of fully compostable bags at the stations also encourages residents to reduce the usage of single use plastics, empowering everyone to do the right thing, therefore benefitting the whole community.
The network was doubled to 80 stations in 2019, and more than 500,000 bags have been dispensed through the stations in the Borough since they were introduced.
That equals less single use plastic in the environment, and potentially more than half a million dog poos picked up which otherwise may have been left spoiling the surroundings for others.
Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Environment and Health Cllr David Mansfield said: “This initiative encourages the thousands of dog owners across Surrey Heath to take responsibility for cleaning up after their pets.
“Since the initial installation of the TiksPac stations, now provided by Eco Green Communities, we have seen a reduction in dog fouling within those locations. We hope the introduction of the QR code on the stations to allow efficient refilling will improve the service further.”
Julie Cook of Eco Green Communities said: “By sponsoring these stations local companies are helping to reduce dog fouling, which is a perennial problem for many local authorities. With the current situation, people are more often out walking and making use of local public open spaces, so dog fouling and littering problems are more prominent than ever.
“The benefits of tidy and clean outdoor spaces go beyond the environmental impact and encompass our mental health and wellbeing as well; this is significant now that we are being encouraged to stay local and enjoy where we live.
“A survey of the councils we’re working with has shown that where stations are installed there’s an average decrease in dog fouling complaints of almost 50%, and a 57% decrease in overall littering in the same areas. That has to be a positive result.”
Since installation, this project has been sponsored by the following companies:
• Dapper Dogs by Debbie
• Blackwater Vets Ltd
• Dog Trouble
• Kingswood Vets
• IW Group Services
• Mercury Electroplating Ltd
• Natural Instinct Ltd
• Pets Abroad UK
• PetPlan Insurance
Thanks to those sponsors who have supported this scheme in Surrey Heath so far, and those who continue to sponsor the stations going forward - Petplan, Blackwater Valley Vets, Dapper Dogs by Debbie and Pets Abroad UK.
More information, including a full list of station locations: surreyheath.gov.uk/dogfouling
Interested in sponsoring the stations? Contact email@example.com