Saanich stopped purchasing dog waste bags for dispensers in local parks about a month ago. A take-a-bag, leave-a-bag system has since taken its place in locations around the district. Wolfgang Depner / News Staff

Saanich pulls dog waste bags from local parks

District says the move will save about $10,000 a year

Those wanting to pick up after their pooch on their next trip to a Saanich park will need to bring their own bag. So says the District of Saanich after it has stopped purchasing dog waste bags.

Eva Riccius, Saanich’s senior park manager, said the decision will save Saanich about $10,000 a year and came into effect about a month ago for financial reasons.

“When we looked at the budget, it [the purchase of dog waste bags] was not really sustainable,” she said in explaining the decision.

She said the decision had nothing to do with a man whom a bystander observed stuffing his pockets with dog bags from a dispenser near Broadmead Village Shopping Centre, prompting a letter with photo being sent to the Saanich News.

“I don’t even know about it,” said Riccius.

So if you are heading into one of the 171 parks that the district maintains, make sure you bring a bag. “Like most responsible dog owners, you will leave your house with a dog bag or two,” she said. She also stressed Saanich supplied just 10 of its parks with a total of 13 dispensers.

The dispensers will be in place until they run out of bags, said Riccius. Park visitors will then continue to have access to bags under a take-a-bag, leave-a-bag system, using the ground-installed tubes, she said. This system will help residents deal with emergencies, said Riccius.

So how is the public reacting? Don Worrall, who was out walking near Lambrick Park with his grandson’s dog Toby, does not consider this issue to be problem.

“I really don’t think taxpayers should be paying for my dog’s poop,” said Worrall as he flashed a compact roll of dark bags. “I’m not a taxpayer here, I am taxpayer in View Royal,” he said. “But if I were a taxpayer in Saanich, I would probably be annoyed that we are spending so much on poop bags.”