Cllr Bill Collentine, the president of Mullingar Tidy Towns, at the new dispensers recently installed in Ballinea and Newbrook.

New system to reduce dog fouling - Collentine

Westmeath County Council is installing new specially designed dog poo bag dispensers at popular walking and recreation sites across Mullingar.

The first two 'Mutt Mitt' dispensers were recently installed at the greenway entrances at the Newbrook Bridge and Ballinea as part of the local authority's ongoing efforts to encourage more dog owners do pick up their pets' waste when out for a walk. More are due to be installed at other popular walking spots in the coming weeks.

The chairman of Mullingar Tidy Towns, Cllr Bill Collentine, says that while increasing numbers of dog owners are cleaning up after the animals, the installation of the dispensers should encourage more to do so.

“We are hoping that people will use them. There will be a good few dispensers installed around the town and they will be placed next to bins to make it even easier for people.

“It's a drive to get people used to picking it up. I know it won't solve the problem overnight but it will certainly encourage more to do so, if they know there is a bag dispenser and a bin nearby.

“There are a lot of dog lovers who walk their pets on the canal and who pick up after them when they have to. Hopefully this initiative will encourage others to follow their example.”

Cllr Collentine says that once people become aware of the location of the bag dispensers and the bins, it should lead to a reduction in the amount of dog fouling that occurs on the canal and local greenways.

“This is a very positive initiative and will help make the canal and greenways safer and more pleasant for the large number of people who use it every day,” he said.