“There’s a new one,” John Freeman says, pointing to a small white plastic bag nestled in a ditch next to a gravel walking trail in Brookswood.
“And there’s another one.”
The bags Freeman is pointing out are filled with dog poop.
On Thursday afternoon, just a handful of bags dotted the natural landscape of grass, twigs and branches, next to Noel Booth Elementary School.
That wasn’t the case eight days earlier, when Freeman and Heather Diewert encountered no fewer than 120 bags discarded in the ditch.
The two friends filled up three 16 x 20 biodegradable bags with the bags of dog feces, and then plopped the bags into a nearby garbage can.
“We were disgusted,” said Freeman.
He said the situation stinks of laziness — not to mention thoughtlessness.
“They’re only doing half their job,” seethed Freeman about the offending pet owner(s). “It’s common sense (to throw the bags in the garbage). How would they not know?”
When he and Diewert — who lives nearby —first came across some of the bags during the summer, Freeman thought it was a “one-off thing.”
“The next time we came back there were more bags and nobody was cleaning up, and we assumed nobody had cleaned up the original bags that we saw, so we got frustrated,” Freeman said.
Common sense would dictate that people clean up after their own pets, Freeman said, noting that the Township provides a bag dispenser at the foot of the trail.
“People take advantage of that (dispenser) and then just throw the bags in the ditch, in plain view of everybody walking by,” Freeman said.
“It’s a pathetic display of personal accountability.
“The garbage can is only a few metres away,” he noted.
Freeman said he’s not a dog owner nor an environmentalist, per se, but said dog owners must be accountable for their actions.
“I’ve been brought up to take care of my own business and clean up after myself,” he said.
“If we all did the little things, we wouldn’t have so many big problems.”
Township of Langley manager of energy and solid waste Ryan Schmidt said this scenario falls under the section of the Township’s updated Solid Waste Management Bylaw that deals with littering.
“We’ve increased it to a $500 penalty, and that one is enforced by the Township of Langley’s bylaw enforcement team,” Schmidt said.
“That said, it’s not always the easiest thing to catch these people doing this.”
Schmidt said now that he’s been made aware this is a “problem area,” he’ll pass the information on to the Township’s “bylaws team and let them know we have some issues there.”