DC Outlook: February 16, 2016 From our friends at DoodyCalls… For many dog owners, cleaning up after their dogs during the cold winter months is a challenge, when yards often are wet, icy and often covered with snow. Then comes spring, and they are faced with the huge task of dealing with so many accumulated READ MORE>>
Community Pet-Waste Concerns
It Takes a Village…to Scoop Poop
In the dog-eat-dog world of real estate, an area is only as good as its steadily increasing property values. And for areas overrun by smelly piles of dog poop, the “feces factor” could prove the weakest link to many homeowners and rental property managers.
Don’t let pet waste become your neighborhood’s nuisance. You should consider calling DoodyCalls to keep your area sanitary and aesthetically pleasing. Not only will DoodyCalls maintain the cleanliness of your community, we will also help design long-term waste elimination plans.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA), estimates Americans own more pets than ever before, with 83 million dogs as of 2013. Dog waste is a smelly, dangerous health hazard. By the last count, there are more pets than people in the U.S. Likewise, the pet services industry, which includes pet waste removal services, continues to expand rapidly—its current $55 billion value is growing annually at a rate of approximately 10%.
Unfortunately, the rise in dog waste as a major cause of pollution continues to develop as well—so much so, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was forced to deem it a “nonpoint source of pollution” in 1991, which put poop in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals!
Beware of Dog (Poop)
According to EPA, a single gram of dog feces can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. EPA even estimates that two or three days worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shell fishing.
For example, in the Four Mile Run watershed in Northern Virginia, a dog population of 11,400 is estimated to contribute about 5,000 pounds of solid waste every day and has been identified as a major contributor of bacteria to the stream. Nearly 500 fecal coliform samples have been taken from Four Mile Run and its tributaries since 1990, and about 50 percent of these samples have exceeded the Virginia State water quality standard for fecal coliform bacteria, according to EPA.
When the agency decided to survey the area, EPA found 40 percent of the people who live in the area neighboring Four Mile Run did not pick up after their dogs because it was “too much work.”
What You Can Do, How We Can Help
With these five easy steps, you could be on your way to a waste-free community:
- Call DoodyCalls – DoodyCalls will work with your homeowner’s association or with your rental property management team to devise a customized plan to keep the community clean.
- Purchase pet waste stations – DoodyCalls sells and installs pet waste removal receptacles, as well as changes the litter bags inside them. In fact, we offer complete pet waste station service. We also offer a plan that is similar to pet waste station leasing.
- Opt for common area cleanings – Although you will erect pet waste stations, you may still have some negligent residents. Since dog droppings are great food for rats, you may not want to leave this up to chance.
- Get a dog park designed – If residents feel they can bond over a pet waste experience, they may be more inclined to allow their dogs to relieve themselves in a centralized area, therefore making it easier for the pros to do their jobs.
- Educate the public – In your community meetings, or through your local newsletters, inform residents of the hazards of improper waste disposal. Also tell them what is being done to combat the problem and what they can do to help.
In the end, it is best not to let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to issues of communal cleanliness. After all, vigilant sanitation could mean the difference between your area’s designation as prime real estate, or an area that has gone to the dogs.