City installing plastic bag dispenser for cleaning up after pets

·2 min read

Jul. 19—The municipal government wants Brunswick to be a pet-friendly city but not at the expense of the town's cleanliness.

Citizens are expected to clean up after themselves, per city law.

But that doesn't mean the city won't offer some help and in this case, it will be in the form of a plastic bag dispenser for pet owners to clean up after their furry friends.

"It's a small thing, but it's a detail of keeping things tidy and picked up and clean and being intentional about the presentation of our green spaces," said City Commissioner Julie Martin. "If we're going to hold pet owners responsible, we should provide pet waste bags."

Tim Nelson, city project manager, said the city's new bag dispenser should be hitting the streets in the next few weeks.

A program like this has been discussed on and off for a while, Martin said. In fact, the only reason the dispensers aren't already placed is due to the project leader being out sick.

"We are just trying to be more intentional about making our residents and visitors aware that we do have a pet ordinance on the books," Martin said. "We want to be a pet-friendly community, and I feel like we are that, but we also have to have responsible visitors and citizens who keep things clean."

Along with the dispensers, Martin said the city intends to buy new trash cans for the entire downtown commercial area. With dozens of new residential units opening up soon, she wants the city to make sure downtown looks its best.

This project comes with very little cost to taxpayers because the dispensers are inexpensive. In the future, Martin wants to make them even more so by employing a simple, handmade dispenser used at other locations around the county. Rather than paying for plastic bags with which to stock the dispenser, Martin said the county's dispensers — made of PVC pipe available at any hardware store — can be stocked by responsible citizens with plastic grocery bags by stuffing them into the top of the dispensers.

"They'll have a second use before they end up in the trash. It's our efforts to be green," she said.