KIRKLAND, Wash. — The City of Kirkland is taking a hands-on approach, after finding itself in a poopy situation. You may have noticed over 250 yellow flags fluttering in the ground at Juanita Beach Park and Hazen Hills Park. These flags mark the spots where city staff have been monitoring and counting un-scooped dog poop.
Kirkland's 20,000 canine residents "export" approximately 6,000 pounds of poop per day. When your pet's poop isn't properly disposed of, it isn't just unpleasant for the neighbors, it's an environmental hazard. Pet waste contains E. coli, Giardia, and roundworms which can be transmitted to people and pets. When it rains, the waste washes down the storm drains, polluting local streams, creeks, and lakes.
"In the Pacific Northwest we love our dogs, we love our waterways, but sometimes those things don't quite go together," Kirkland staffer Kellie Stickney said.
Luckily, the solution is simple. Scoop, bag, and put your pet's poop in the trash. To help this along, Kirkland has launched a campaign where residents can sponsor a pet waste station, making pet waste cleanup easy and convenient for dog owners. So far, the campaign has seen over a 70% reduction in un-scooped poop.
"Pick up after your dog, and if you see someone that's not, have a polite conversation with them," Stickney said. "A little education can go a long way."