LETTER | Dog Poop Belongs in a Plastic Bag, Not in Bag Dispenser or Lake Washington

City of Kirkland's answer to pet waste disposal needs to change.

City of Kirkland's answer to pet waste disposal needs to change.


Containers containing recycled plastic bags for pet waste are in most of our Kirkland parks and all along Lake Washington Boulevard.


But a few people are ruining it for the rest of us by putting dog waste in them.


While walking my dog today at Brink Park, a fellow dog-walker lifted the lid on one of our convenient bag dispensers. You know, the ones that now have the sign on them that says “Take a bag. Leave a bag. Not for pet waste. Clean bags only.”


A solution which works in other cities. Why not here?

Guess what happened. Yup, he pulled out a bag and dog poop fell into his hand. His disgusted look made up for the composure he showed in not blurting out what most of us would have said. He unfortunately had to put the dirty bag back in the container, then headed for the lake to wash his hand.


Obviously, we have some people in Kirkland who 1) can’t read and 2) must think there’s someone in our Parks Department who comes around every day to manually empty what they assume are “pet waste containers.”


It’s time for the City to remove these - and ideally replace them with a true dispenser for those pet owners who don’t have the foresight to bring their own dog waste bags.


The reasons for this are now more apparent than they were last year:

  1. We can no longer use plastic bags. They are now bad. Really BAD. REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD BAD BAD!!! Just ask the City Council.
  2. A disappointing minority of Kirkland pet owners are apparently too illiterate and too selfish to grasp the purpose of the containers.
  3. While the City’s concept makes sense, the container does LOOK more like a receptacle than a dispenser.
  4. It’s a health hazard for people to grab dog poop instead of the expected conscientiously recycled plastic bag.
  5. Today’s incident added some dog poop to Lake Washington.

Chuck Pilcher