In 2019, Metro Vancouver recorded 11.9 million visits to regional parks and greenways.
Walking and hiking are the most common activity in these destinations.
Dog walking, and nature and wildlife viewing come next.
Regional parks get an estimated 2.5 million dog visits each year.
These pets leave something behind.
In 2019, around 74 tonnes of dog waste were removed from regional parks.
The number was cited in a report prepared by Mike Redpath, director of regional parks with the Metro Vancouver district.
According to Redpath, the district installed 157 dog waste bins in regional parks between 2016 and 2019.
A contractor collects the bagged dog waste, manually separates the poop from the bag, and transports the waste to the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The plastic bags go to the incinerator.
“Metro Vancouver’s dog waste diversion and collection services have garnered the attention of residents, municipalities and park operations across the region,” Redpath wrote.
According to Redpath, seven municipalities have started their own programs based on this program.
These are Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, District of West Vancouver, Township of Langley, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam.
Redpath’s report, which generally covered regional park issues, is included in the agenda Wednesday (September 16) of the district’s regional parks committee.
In the summer of 2016, Vancouver started a pilot project involving the use of red dog waste collection carts.
The carts are found in the following city parks: Charleson, Coopers, Grimmett, John Hendry (Trout Lake), Hinge, and Nelson.
In May 2019, Vancouver councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung successfully introduced a motion calling for the expansion of dog waste collection in the city.
Kirby-Yung stated in her motion that the city’s dog population is growing.
According to Kirby-Yung, dog poop that ends up at landfills produce methane. That’s a greenhouse gas emission that contributes to climate change.