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Village to install plastic bag receptacles for dog walkers

Greenport Village will be putting plastic bag receptacles at the Fifth and Sixth Street beaches in an attempt to get dog owners to pick up after their pooch.

Trustee Doug Roberts brought up the idea at Thursday’s Village board meeting. He referenced a recent Facebook challenge from village resident Mindy Ryan’s encouraging people to pick up litter in the village. The idea, he said, can be taken a bit further by targeting doggie poop.

“I’m here to tell you that now, there’s dog poo everywhere,” Mr. Roberts said.

In particular, he said he’s tired of seeing it on the Fifth Street beach.

But Mr. Roberts said one place he rarely sees dog poop is in Mitchell Park, where there are receptacles with free plastic bags for picking up after dogs.

According to the village’s 30-year-old code on this issue, it’s actually illegal to have a dog at any public park in the village, Mr. Roberts said.

“In order to put plastic bag receptacles at Fifth and Sixth Street beaches, we have to first acknowledge that people are walking their dogs there,” he said.

Mr. Roberts also proposed making it legal to bring dogs to village parks, so long as they are on a four-foot or shorter leash from May 1 to Oct. 1 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and so long as the dog waste is cleaned up.

“I can’t think of a community anywhere on the planet where you can’t bring a dog to a park,” he said. 

“The beach is different from other parks,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said. “If it’s buried in the sand or a mess, that’s saying ‘go ahead and use the beach as a litter box.’ I don’t want to let dogs on the beach.”

But Mr. Hubbard and Trustee Mary Bess Phillips agreed with putting plastic bags and receptacles at Fifth and Sixth Street beaches to see if it will make a difference.

Meanwhile, beaches and parks apparently aren’t the only places where dog waste is a problem.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of dog waste on the sidewalk,” said Trustee Julia Robins. “It’s distressing.”

Mr. Hubbard said other people’s dogs have pooped on his lawn.

“People who own these animals don’t take care of them,” he said.

Photo caption: A receptacle at Mitchell Park in Greenport. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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