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Mississauga’s Successful Dog Waste Pilot Becomes Permanent Program

Environment | June 10, 2021

Yesterday, Council approved City staff’s recommendation to continue the existing in-ground Dog Waste program after launching a successful pilot project in 2018. The program will also be expanded to select parks around Mississauga in 2023.

“The Dog Waste Pilot successfully addresses the disposal of dog waste while helping to improve waste diversion and reduce recycling contamination in City parks,” said Jodi Robillos, Director, Parks, Forestry and Environment. “Dog waste takes time to decompose and can spread diseases including tapeworm, hookworm, roundworm and E.coli when it’s not disposed of properly. When left on the ground, dog waste can wash into our stormwater system, polluting our rivers, streams, creeks and other local waterways. This is why it’s important to place dog waste in appropriate bins.”

Through the pilot program, the City installed 13 in-ground dog waste collection containers in specific City parks and one specially designed container was installed at the Mississauga Animal Services facility.

Robillos added, “As our population grows and urbanization increases, having the proper infrastructure in place to divert dog waste from landfill, while turning it into energy through biodigestion, will help us achieve the goals in our Climate Change Action Plan.”

Based on waste audits, the City has seen a significant decrease in contaminated recycling, from 81.2 per cent in 2017 to 53 per cent in 2020.

“Since beginning the program in 2018, we’ve been able to divert more than 34 metric tonnes of dog waste from regional landfills. Instead, the City has been able to convert the dog waste into energy,” said Gavin Longmuir, Manager, Parks Operations. “The Dog Waste pilot has resulted in many benefits, including improved staff safety by minimizing interaction with dog waste, reduced odour, improved recycling rates, increased waste container service levels and improved understanding by park visitors about where to dispose dog waste. We are planning to expand the program in 2023 and install additional in-ground dog waste collection containers in select parks across the city.”

Criteria for expanding the program to other parks include:

  • Parks that have higher pet usage rates
  • Parks with year-round paved access to service the units
  • Remaining leash-free areas (where access allows)

If a dog waste container is not available at a park, residents are encouraged to continue disposing dog waste in the garbage container.

Learn more about the Dog Waste pilot.

Background:

In 2018, Council approved a sole source contract for Sutera Inc. (Sutera) to support the development of a three-year Dog Waste Pilot program. City staff collaborated with Sutera Inc. to design a fully in-ground concrete container that holds dog waste for up to six weeks. Storing the waste below ground where it is cooler and out of direct sunlight reduces odour and means that the waste can be collected when the container is full.

Photo:

Green container

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Media Contact:
Catherine Nguyen-Pham
Communications Co-ordinator
City of Mississauga
905-615-3200 ext. 5334
catherine.nguyen-pham@mississauga.ca
TTY: 905-896-5151