Pet owners are allowed three litres of animal excrement per garbage bag. The bylaw was passed at city council last night to try and control the amount of waste. The issue is that too much is going into one garbage bag, which then rips open in the garbage trucks. City Engineer Luc Duval says the old bylaw prohibited any waste going into residential garbage bins, but the change is more reasonable.

“What we feel is a balance between accepting some animal excrement in a residential waste, and putting some kind of parameters around it,” explains Duval. “So that it’s not excessive, meets most of the needs of the residents, and protects the health and safety of our workers, and also of our equipment”

Duval says having a smaller amount per bag has less chance of ripping open when being compressed in the garbage trucks.

The problem is enforcement, with many councillors wondering how that bylaw can be held up, and as  Mayor Steve Black says, he doesn’t want to pass a bylaw they have no intention of enforcing.

Councillor Rick Dubeau says it’s just a matter of getting the word out.

“If we just get it out there as more an education sort of thing, and advise of this, I think 99% of the population will abide by approximately three litres,” says Dubeau. “They’re not going to measure it, but approximately.”

Duval agrees with Dubeau, and says enforcement is possible.

“We have the opportunity to at least video tape every lift that we do,” explains Duval. “If we do come across one that would bust on us, we can at least pinpoint it. The manual collection part, people are lifting bags, what happened in the past there was some splashing occurring.”

Duval says the health and safety aspect is the most important thing, and if anything can be done to keep employees safer, than it should be.