For communities with dogs, pet waste stations are a great way to keep the common grounds clear of wayward doggie deposits. In order for stations to have their desired impact, however, they must be regularly serviced and well maintained.
Keeping pet waste stations in good working order takes an entire community. Here are some simple tips for both pet owners and non-pet owning residents alike to ensure community stations remain stocked up, emptied out, and in all-around good shape:
Take what you need, leave the rest. When the time comes to make a pit stop by a pet waste station while out walking your pooch, make sure to take only what you need. In most cases, one or two bags per dog should be plenty.
Keep an eye out. Station usage tends to vary by location, so if you notice certain stations running low on fresh bags (or filling up with soiled ones), let your community manager know about it. Similarly, be sure to notify your community manager if you find a station in disrepair or in need of servicing.
Pet waste only. It should come as no surprise that people often try to use stations as trash cans. You want to prevent this because trash items are often bulky and fill up waste receptacles very quickly.
When waste bins fill up before they have a chance to be serviced, residents may leave poop bags to the side or set them on top of the station. This of course defeats the purpose of your stations and creates a smelly and unsightly mess. A simple way to prevent this from happening is to encourage your community to provide an ample amount of trash cans and pet waste stations throughout the community grounds.
Single servings only. Another way stations are frequently misused is for the disposal of large volumes of pet waste. This too needs to be prevented because several weeks worth of pet waste from a neighbor’s yard will fill up – and overflow – a pet waste station in no time flat, once again rendering the station unfit for its intended purpose.
When you remove waste from your yard, consider scooping it into a trash bag, then double-wrapping it with another bag and placing in the garbage to be collected and taken to the landfill.
If you follow the bag and garbage method, be sure to double bag the waste and tie knots at the top of both bags to ensure the waste is properly sealed. This is mainly to protect garbage collectors from coming into contact with the waste upon pickup.
Make suggestions. If you have suggestions for additional station locations or service-frequency adjustments, communicate them to your community manager. As a regular station user, nobody knows better than you.
Pet waste stations are an amenity shared by the entire community. When using them, be mindful of other resident pet owners and the stations themselves; communicate with your community manager to keep stations stocked, emptied and in good working condition; and, of course, make sure to always pick up after your pet.