Pet waste adds harmful bacteria and nutrients to local waters when it’s not disposed of properly.
Did you know that in addition to being a nuisance, pet waste is also a significant pollutant found in stormwater runoff? Pet waste left on sidewalks, streets, and lawns washes into storm drains and then to the nearest water body, without treatment. The solution is easy: pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly! When walking your dog, bring a bag to pick up the dog poop, and throw in the trash—never a storm drain.
Does your community have a local park or highly trafficked street where pet waste is often left to wash into storm drains? Consider installing a pet waste station to encourage proper pet waste disposal.
Planning A Pet Waste Station
- Consider partnering with your town or another watershed organization to assist with publicity, maintenance, and other project needs.
- Contact your local stormwater coordinator to seek assistance and request permission to install a pet waste station on municipal property (if applicable).
- Select a vendor to purchase pet waste disposal products. We’ve listed a variety of vendors on our Pet Waste Station and Leash Bags Purchasing Information document to get you started.
- Complete pet waste stations generally cost between $300-$400 dollars. Consider collaborating with another organization or town to receive a bulk discount.
- Publicize your new station with a press release. The more you can educate local residents the better! Send out a press release to local print and electronic media alerting residents to the availability of a new pet waste station.
- Consider publishing an Op-ed in a local media source to educate residents about the problem of pet waste.
- Recruit volunteers to manage and maintain the pet waste station (e.g., volunteers will need to keep a supply of bags in the waste station).
- How often do residents use the station? Ask volunteers to fill out a Pet Waste Bag Distribution Worksheet to record how often they fill the bags at the station.
- Using your pet waste bag distribution data, you can estimate the amount of nitrogen and bacteria removed as pollutants from local waters using a Nitrogen Calculation Worksheet.
Looking For More Ways To Help Your Community Practice Stormwater-Friendly Pet Care?
- Make it easier for residents to clean up after their pets by organizing a pet waste bag giveaway. Select a vendor to purchase a Bags-on-Board* type leash accessory. We’ve listed a variety of vendors in our Pet Waste Station and Leash Bags Purchasing Information document to get you started. Publicize your promotion with a press release and coupon in local print or electronic media, and contact local veterinarians, shelters, pet stores and groomers to request their help in distributing Bags-on-Board canisters and accompanying factsheet Do You Scoop the Poop?
* Bags-on-Board pet disposal product is a small canister filled with plastic bags that attaches to a pet’s leash. Bag refills are widely available wherever pet supplies are sold.
- In addition to installing a pet waste station, you can help get a pet waste ordinance adopted within your town to require residents pick up after their pets. We can provide a model ordinance to help you and your public officials draft one for your town as well as sample press releases seeking public comment and announcing the adoption of the ordinance.
- Publicize yearly reminders with stormwater-friendly pet care tips.