Pet waste Q&A

Are the pet waste bags at City receptacles biodegradable?

The bags placed at Cooper Dog Park and Lee Lake for pet waste are not biodegradable. Public Works Department staff say the storage life of biodegradable bags is 12 to 18 months when stored in ideal conditions and six months or less when stored in less than ideal conditions, depending on exposure. This would put the life of biodegradable bags for Bartlesville at six months or less and likely not a practical option.

Is there a fine for not picking up after your pet?

There are no specific City ordinances relating to pet waste; however, there are ordinances prohibiting littering and illegally disposing of trash that could apply. To make a complaint, the person observing the offense would need to contact the police department and provide the name and address of the offender’s owner for a report, and then go to Municipal Court any Tuesday or Thursday at 8 a.m. to file a formal complaint. The fine for littering is $325.

What’s the fuss over pet waste anyway?

For those of you allowing your pets to leave their mark on public property, please rethink this. According to several sources researched for this inquiry, pet waste contains bacteria that could pose health risks to other animals, including humans, and often ends up in the city’s waterways where it can come into contact with humans. Not to mention it is unsightly, smells bad and draws flies and other insects to city paths, parks and sidewalks. Using a pet waste bag is the single most effective way to dispose of waste, so make sure you have some with you before embarking on your outing.

For more information, check out the City of Fort Collins, Colo. and the City of Marietta, Ohio.