Dog owners in Whistler will soon be able to help turn their pet’s waste into high quality soil, thanks to a new pilot program being launched by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) this August.
Called the Pick Up Protocol (PUP), the program will provide special compostable dog waste bags at two of Whistler’s off-leash parks: Bayly Park and Alpha Lake Park. Dog owners can use the compostable bags to pick up their pet’s waste before disposing them in a marked red PUP bin. The waste collected will be fed into Whistler’s composting stream, rather than being shipped as garbage to the landfill.
“We are excited to offer an innovative program that recognizes the needs of dog owners while balancing our residents’ passion for the environment,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “The PUP program is a great way to convert dog poo into compost, while diverting waste from our garbage stream, reducing costs and helping to protect the environment. I’m looking forward to seeing enthusiastic uptake by dog owners!”
Waste collected at the PUP compostable red bins will be transported to the RMOW composting facility in the Callaghan Valley. The material will be mixed with biosolids from the Wastewater Treatment Plant, residential and commercial food waste and wood waste, where it will be effectively treated to produce a number of high quality soil amendments to be sold at the Waste Transfer Station and Squamish Landfill.
Depending on the success of the pilot program, the RMOW will consider rolling out PUP on a longer-term basis. A key component will be that dog owners dispose of only compostable materials in the provided bins and not other non-compostable materials that could contaminate the waste stream. The special PUP dog waste bags will be vegetable-based and completely compostable. Plastic and biodegradable dog waste bags, on the other hand, are not compostable and would contaminate the waste stream if disposed in the PUP bins.
Similar dog waste composting programs have already been implemented in Metro Vancouver and other lower mainland municipalities.
The PUP pilot program, along with the recent expansion of Alpha Lake Dog Park, is part of a larger strategy to reduce human and dog conflicts in Whistler parks. The recent engagement process for the Recreation Leisure Master Plan update revealed that dog issues such as off leash areas, enforcement and waste require improvement. Learn more about the engagement process results by viewing the Recreational Leisure Master Plan draft findings.
For more information on dogs in Whistler, visit whistler.ca/dogs
The following sign will be displayed at Bayly Park and Alpha Lake Park: