Officials at Metro Vancouver say there is no truth to media reports suggesting a ban on pet waste in Lower Mainland garbage cans.
Several media outlets, and bloggers have reported a new policy in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam bans people from disposing pet feces in garbage cans, and encourages them to compost, or flush it down the toilet instead.
Bill Morrell — media relations manager at Metro Vancouver — says he's not aware of any municipality with a bylaw banning the disposal of pet waste, even though he acknowledges feces of any kind is listed as prohibited from the region's garbage.
"We do encourage people to dispose of it (dog waste) by composting, or flushing it down the toilet at home, but we don't expect anyone to bag it at the park, take it home, take it out of the bag, and flush it down the toilet," said Morrell.
Metro Vancouver's official policy is that although pet waste is prohibited, small amounts are accepted in household garbage, preferably double-bagged. There is no ban on disposing of dog waste in a park trash can.
Some of the confusion can be attributed to a message on Port Coquitlam's website, which states putting dog waste in public or private trash cans is not permitted. The message tells dog owners to pick up the poop in a bag, take it home, and flush it down the toilet, or put it in a composter.
'We don't expect anyone to bag it at the park, take it home, take it out of the bag, and flush it down the toilet' - Bill Morrell, manager of media relations, Metro Vancouver
Ron Meyers, manager of parks, planning and design in Port Coquitlam calls the wording a suggestion, rather than an official policy, or bylaw.
"You're not supposed to put any feces in the garbage, but every municipality and Metro Vancouver recognizes that's not possible," said Meyer.
A spokesperson for the City of Coquitlam says there is no truth to suggestions a pet owner can be fined for dropping small amounts of dog waste in a garbage can, and there are no plans to introduce such a bylaw.