Wait…WHAT?! Scooping poop has been the law in New York City for eons, but at Brooklyn’s East River State Park, officials are encouraging dog owners to forgo the usual plastic bags for a new project that hopes to turn all that brown to green: composting!
Using an array of scoopers, environmentally friendly paper bags and snazzy new cedar bins, those spearheading the new program plan to use the poop to beautify the park’s flower beds as fertilizer.
Per a piece in the New York Post, the waste will be mixed with untreated sawdust, then “cooked and cured” before being applied around park gardens; this, according to Leslie Wright, the regional director of state parks in New York City.
“We figured we can use something people don’t want and turn it into something great,” said Wright, who helped launch the city’s first poop program last week.
Including materials and supplies, the cost of the program is estimated at roughly $2,000.
Why Williamsburg? New Yorkers who remember Brooklyn in its pre-hipster days would likely have a chuckle. Officials said the neighborhood was selected to test the program because its residents would be “especially receptive to the idea.”
“I think it’s pretty in tune with the whole Brooklyn vibe,” said Gina Cestero, 34, who spoke with the Post while walking her boyfriend’s golden doodle, Fin.
Not everyone was as kind.
“Just why? The [dog-run] entrance is so stinky and nasty. I’d rather not bring my dog there. Plus, I like using plastic bags and they don’t provide them for you,” said Luis Hernandes, 68, who visits the park his rottweiler, Chu Cho.
“It’s pretty gross,” said Charles Danko, 47, and owner of a pit bull named Puddin, “but maybe it will beautify the area,” he said.
“I think it’s great. Not only does it save me money on bags, but it’s also super easy to do,” said Morgan Hauenstein, 25, owner of Rosie, a greyhound. “But I’ve definitely seen a lot of people roll their eyes when they see it.”
Wright noted there are only two other such programs in the country: one for sled dogs at Alaska’s Denali National Park and another in upstate N.Y. at Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca.