Cumbernauld man picks up fight against vanishing doggy bins

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A man in Cumbernauld has launched a campaign to replace dog disposal bins removed by his local council.

Matt McCulloch started the ‘Poop Bin Project’ to combat North Lanarkshire Council’s (NLC) decision to remove bins from dog walking areas.

The project sees Matt, 28, build and install dog waste bins around the Cumbernauld area where they are needed most.

This is to show the reader that dog fouling is illegal and people can be fined for it
Untended dog fouling occurrence has increased in Cumbernauld

He said: “It wasn’t until Halloween when I noticed there was a big bin that the councils had left behind, it was just overflowed.

“You couldn’t put anything else in the bin.

“So people had put them (dog waste bags) on top, and they had ended up on the floor, or people just weren’t picking up poo.”

In July, NLC announced they planned to replace smaller bins with new larger units to increase capacity and prevent overflowing.

But the move has resulted in canine owners around Cumbernauld struggling to find a place to put their pooch’s poop.

Matt said: “Taking away the smaller bins has forced people to travel further to put the dog bags away.

“The knock-on effect it has had is that these bigger bins are literally overflowing.”

This image is to show the reader an example of bins that are overflowing
Bins are full to capacity all over North Lanarkshire

Matt decided something had to be done and began constructing his own bin, tying it to a lamp post along his dog walking route.

And when other residents started using it for their pups waste, he realised it was a similar story across the region and started the campaign.

“You’ve now got an entire community like Abronhill using one or two big bins, and that is unsustainable.

“It’s actually turning into a health hazard now.”

He noticed people were putting full doggy poo bags at the site of bins that had been removed and feels the council haven’t thought this one through.

This image gives the reader an example of full dog waste bags being left at the site where a bin used to be but was removed by the council
Doggy poo bags are being left at the site where bins used to be before the council removed them

He added: “They’ve basically taken something that was working, and broken it”

The ‘Poop Bin Project’ now has 15 bins planned for installation with four ready to be deployed in the coming days.

One of those due to be in place soon is a site in the Seafar area of the town, where resident Aileen Smith contacted Matt seeking a bin.

She said: “Between here and Cumbernauld Park, there were four of these poo bins. Now they’ve all been taken away.

“There is a big bin which is off the dog-walking path. So people either aren’t picking up, or they are using a poo bag and leaving it.”

This is to show the reader dog dirt on the ground has increased
The amount of dog poo left on walking routes has increased

Aileen admits the problem has become worse since September and believes the council should have had a public consultation when they decided to change the bin infrastructure in the area. She said: “Interaction with the community would have been good and I hope they support this project.”

This is to show the reader that Matt has engaged the local community with his campaign
Matt’s Poop Bin Project aims to install more bins for dog walker

A council spokesperson said: “The rationalisation of litter bins is being carried out to provide new, larger volume litter bins which are emptied mechanically by bin lorries and deliver a cleaner service to communities to enhance the quality of service delivery. They are being sited near public roads and in the busiest areas in towns and villages. When the implementation is complete, there will be fewer bins but the overall capacity will increase by 400% across North Lanarkshire.

“We are dynamically working with communities and elected members to review the location and emptying frequency of new bins to ensure they meet local needs. For example, following review, additional bins are to be provided in Seafar.

“The main issue we are experiencing when new bins are installed is rubbish, particularly bagged dog waste, being dropped where smaller bins existed previously instead of disposing of it responsibly in the new bins or taking it home and placing it in the general household waste bin.”

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