Old City dog poop scoopers meet with reps from city transportation and utilities, streets

The Old City residents who organized the Scoop The Poop campaign to combat a neighborhood problem with dog waste met with city officials this week to talk about the future of their program.

Janet Kalter and Tony Lucente began their campaign with posters of a bulldog urging dog-walkers to "Leave No Pile Behind," but then added waste disposal stations with poop bag dispensers and small trash cans for, um, deposits. They did not have the blessing of the streets department or the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities to hang the dispensers and cans from light poles and other city property, and that's what Tuesday's meeting was all about.

Kalter and Lucente presented Transportation and Utilities Chief of Staff Andrew Stober and Deputy Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams with maps and charts showing the placement of the stations and the proximity of city trash cans - the activists believe a large part of the problem is that dog walkers couldn't find an appropriate place to leave the waste. They gave stats about how often volunteers must empty the cans, and the mix of trash and dog waste found in each.

The doggie stations have been up for about two months. In that time, volunteers have placed about 5,600 poop bags at the 18 dispensers (8 of those are bags only, no receptical) and, as of last month, had emptied 177 kitchen-sized trash bags filled with dog waste and trash.

Lucente and Kalter also presented letters of support from community organizations and residents. "The Streets Department and Transportation and Utiltiies were impresent with the presentation and are reviewing the information," Stober said in an email.

The city had previously expressed concerned about some components of the program, including the concentration of animal waste and providing bags that encourage dog walkers not to bring their own.

Kalter said the city reps seemed very receptive and enthusiastic during the meeting."We got the ok to continue (the program) for now, she said. With one little change: Posters placed on any city property, like light poles, must be removed. Kalter said she hopes to hear back in about a week.

See previous coverage.

About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates

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