Feature

The unwelcome piles on our sidewalks.

The week's news at a glance.

Germany

Birgit Loff
Frankfurter Rundschau

Berlin is awash in dog doo, said Birgit Loff in the Frankfurter Rundschau. “No place escapes decoration: the kids’ sandbox, the lawns in the parks, even your front steps.” It’s gotten so bad that Berliners now admit that they’ve stopped wearing shoes with treads. “It’s too disgusting to pick the stuff out.” Fining negligent dog owners for failing to dispose of waste doesn’t work; it’s simply too difficult to catch them—or rather their dogs—in the act. And city officials have already added all the street cleaners and sanitation workers they can afford. So now they’ve hired Germany’s dog-poop specialists, a firm called City & Dog, to install plastic-bag dispensers all over town. The company sends out statisticians to count the little piles in various neighborhoods and determine which areas need the most attention. On particularly poop-prone streets, workers go person to person, accosting anyone with a dog in tow and pressing several bags upon them. It’ll be some time before we see a difference, though. One of the first facts City & Dog established was that Berlin’s dogs “produce 55 tons of poop every single day.”

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