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More bins for doggie poo, please


To the Editor,

Fun fact: Did you know that in 2014 the U.S.A. had 83 million dogs with 10.6 million tons of poop?

So I am a man with simple hobbies, reading and walking my dog at the top of my list. Today, being a mild Saturday, I took the opportunity of getting out in the fresh air and walking Bella. As is Bella's wont, she took her sweet time walking and sniffing at every lamppost, fire hydrant and electoral paraphernalia between my house and Victoria Street.

Once or twice, she made a tinkle, more often than not cocking her paw out and just issuing her invisible hormones and whatnot out into the wild (well it's Amherst, so it's not that wild, but you get the point :-)).

So as Bella encroached on Victoria Street, she meaningfully put her head down and intently sniffed the sidewalk and some dandelions (fun fact: dandelion means dent de lion or lion's tooth). I take this as Bella's cue that she is going to do her business in a more substantial way (if you catch my drift). Sure enough, Bella did, and I being a good person (well done, Mark!) produced a poop bag (decomposable I believe) and removed the offending article from the street. After two or three minutes, as I passed by Dayle’s, I placed the bag in a bin marked garbage as opposed to recyclables (there being no compost bin).

So as I proceeded on my walk, Bella released her seemingly mandatory number one against a building and we proceeded on our way. We passed Havelock Street without incident and as my Supergrass (a British alternative band, now broken up) pounded in my ears (not really, just wondering who was still reading this) we continued past Manasseh Market, someone liberally waved at me from a car, but me being oblivious to the world, I haughtily ignored the individual (whoops, sorry). 

Just as we proceeded onto Church Street, Bella decided she had unfinished business regarding her number two. Diligently, I scooped her produce and thought that I would deposit in some bin on Church Street or maybe Spring Street or even Willow Street (rather than walk back to the bins on Victoria Street).

Imagine my consternation that on continuing up Church Street as far as Spring Street and then onto Willow Street, there was not a single public bin that one can use to dispose of one's trash/garbage. Yes, there were compost bins of citizens that I could have secretly used, but Catholic guilt is my cross and I did not think it right to use them. Then, there is another alternative, which some (I repeat some, not all/many) dog walkers seem prone to doing: dispose the bag by stealthily planting it amongst some undergrowth. Or maybe make life more challenging by not picking up dog poop at all. Thus, one encounters various deposits in a varying degrees of decomposition.

(fun fact: poop - as a noun - was first used by children in this sense in 1744; as a verb, in the same sense it was first used in 1903). 

Finally, I saw salvation. There, in the Rotary Park on Willow Street, I espied a green bin, but I resigned myself to bringing Bella and my little blue sad bag of poop back home to my own green bin. Somehow we developed a sort of pathetic rapport. Several drivers met and waved at me; I waved back, the bag quietly dangling from my other hand. 

Thus, as Supergrass faded into Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (which I assume had no such offending articles on its route), I entered my driveway. I thought it kind of incredible that one can walk so long (a good 30 minutes) with no refuge for my refuse. Seriously, maybe post-Oct. 15, our newly-elected council will look into providing more bins around our fair town.

Mark Foley,



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