Valpo to offer residents free pet waste bags
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent April 17, 2013 11:20AM
Updated: April 21, 2013 5:02PM
VALPARAISO — Residents can get a free pet waste bag dispenser as part of the city’s programs to clean up water sources.
The small dispensers, which attach to a pet’s leash or collar, are available to those who pay city storm water fees at the Valparaiso Parks Department office at 3210 Campbell St., the City Utilities office at 205 Billings St. and City Hall at 166 Lincolnway.
The refillable carry biodegradable baggies that pet owners can use to pick up their pet’s droppings.
The dispensers are part of the new “Scoop the Poop” Program, designed to raise awareness of the effects that pet waste left outside and not cleaned up.
“Pet waste is an environmental pollutant which contributes to bacterial and nutrient contamination of our waterways. By educating pet owners, we can help reduce contamination,” Mingyan Zhou of the city’s Engineering Department stated in a press release.
It’s against city ordinance to leave pet waste outside of the owner’s property limit, and it should be enclosed in a sealed or tied plastic bag and disposed of in the trash, never in a a catch basin, storm drain or on the street.
Pet waste should not go into a compost pile as the heat isn’t enough to kill disease-causing organisms, and the bacteria in pet waste does more harm than good as fertilizer.
Valparaiso has also offered residents rain barrels at a reduced price as a way of improving storm water.
The first 400 to order one will receive the barrel at $20. The cost is $51 for an additional barrel or to people outside the sewer service territory. Residents should order from UpCycle Products at (815) 735-9583 by May 16 for pick up on May 23 at Central Park Plaza from 3 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about these programs, visit the city’s MS4 Program website at Valpo.us/MS4 or e-mail MS4@valpo.us.