Town has bottle to tackle dog mess scourge

Dog owner and community council member Shona Lumsden with one of the bottle dispensers
Dog owner and community council member Shona Lumsden with one of the bottle dispensers

A Fife community has come up with an innovative solution to clear the scourge of dog mess from its streets.

Buckhaven Community Council has crafted home-made dispensers full of poo bags to allow locals to clean up after their four-legged friends, even if they have forgotten their own supply.

Annoyed by owners who fail to pick up when their four-legged friends foul, members have ensured there is no longer any excuse for leaving mess behind by fashioning special containers out of old plastic drinks bottles.

Attached to lamp-posts and poles in streets across the town, the aim is to keep the area clean.

Community council chairperson Michelle Ratcliffe said the idea had been given a lot of support.

“I think it’s brilliant and the community has responded really well,” she said.

“Dog fouling comes up at every single community council meeting so we knew we had to do something.

“The public response has been massive and people are even topping them up for us.”

The next stage for the community council is to get stickers made to go on the bottles to remind people of their responsibilities.

“We’re trying to put out a catchy message so the stickers will say ‘if your dog needs the loo, take a bag and clean their poo’,” said Michelle.

“Most people are responsible but anyone can forget a bag when they go out.”

So far the dispensers have been placed in College Street gardens, Sandwell Street, the Bird Scheme and Denbeath.

Others will be put elsewhere as they become available.

Eventually dispensers will be made from old baby wipes tubs to make it harder for mischievous youngsters to haul the bags out, while the community council is trying to get more dog bins so people can easily dispose of their full bags.

The innovation has been praised by local councillors.

Labour councillor Ryan Smart said: “I think this is another fantastic initiative from the community council and it just goes to show why these groups are important.”

SNP councillor Ken Caldwell, convener of Levenmouth area committee, said recent surveys had shown dog mess was one of the top hates of local communities.

“I’m sure this initiative will make any dog walker think twice about not being a responsible dog owner,” he said.

“This shows the kind of influence that community councils can have in their area.”