A dispenser for biodegradable dog poop bags in Salmon Arm might be changed to compostables. (File photo)

Salmon Arm consuming dog poop bags by the thousands

City to look into replacing current bags with compostables

While picking up doggy deposits might not be particularly popular, the little bags the City of Salmon Arm provides for the job certainly are.

The city is spending $17,000 to $20,000 per year on the white plastic poop bags found in dispensers in city parks and other public places, says Rob Niewenhuizen, director of public works and engineering.

At an average wholesale price of five cents each, in 2018 that amounted to 340,000 little bags per year – or, if they were divided between the 17,000-plus people who live in Salmon Arm, dog owners or not, that’s 20 bags each.

“They’re not always used by people with dogs,” says Niewenhuizen. “They’re used for water balloons, they’re played with – we find them around.”

Related link: Peeved about poop

Not to mention, some dog owners simply ignore their dog’s droppings.

“It’s a fairly large cost, and we still find a lot of dog feces in our parks.”

City council plans to ban plastic bags in Salmon Arm beginning July 1 to coincide with the start of organic curbside pick-up.

Resident Jacki Dodds wrote to council to express her appreciation for the plan, but she also asked that the biodegradable doggy doo bags currently in use be replaced with compostable ones.

The difference is that biodegradable bags must go in the landfill where they break down more slowly – in about three to six months according to some estimates – than compostable ones, but more quickly than other plastics which can take hundreds of years.

Related link: Salmon Arm plans to ban single use plastic bags

Several Internet sites state that the biodegradable plastics in question are made from petrochemicals but contain additives which enhance their breakdown in the landfill, while the compostables are made from renewable raw materials like cornstarch. They break down completely without leaving toxic residue.

Niewenhuizen says staff have contacted a couple of compostable bag manufacturers and the prices are similar to the bags already in use. The expense would be replacing the 30 or so dispensers at $150 each.

Also, the compostable bags are best disposed of in a commercial composting program.

“We’re still determining with our compostable program if we allow dog waste with our food waste…”

Niewenhiuzen said staff will likely compile a report to address the unknowns in switching to compostable bags. What won’t be known, however, is if the public will continue to consume them in the hundreds of thousands.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Salmon Arm disc golf proponent eager to give back to community

A member of Rapattack, Duncan Walters would like to see trails, course available to public

Clouds Sunday, sunshine and heat Monday

Weather forecast for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen looks spectacular

Former Shuswap fire captain uses power of Lego to help kids

Salmon Arm Fall Fair to feature upgraded Lego building competition

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Church building has been a landmark on Summerland’s Butler Street

Neighbourhood in Lowertown has gone through changes over the years.

Vernon team wins second straight NOSL title

North Enderby Timber crushes Salmon Arm Beer Badgers 8-1 in soccer league championship

Okanagan MMA fighter captures middleweight belt at home

Jordan Cabrejos scores victory at XFC Unbanned, the return of mixed martial arts to Vernon

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

Rainbow adds to beauty of Blackburn Park

Soccer game played under a rainbow-adorned sky on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 21

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

Most Read