07/01/2014 08:00 EDT | Updated 07/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Coquitlam Wants You To Flush Your Dog's Waste

Jamie Qi Zhou/500px
A 10 year old Golden Retriever has a Chinese name 旺财 which has a meaning of

One B.C. city is telling you what to do — and what not to do — with your pet's, well, doo doo.

Coquitlam introduced an automated waste collection program on Tuesday that focuses on the handling of organic waste, which got people thinking about the city's suggestions for pet waste disposal.

Coquitlam's recycling guidelines, regulated by Metro Vancouver, dictate that dog owners shouldn't throw bags of their dog's waste into public or private garbage bins. Pet waste should instead be flushed down the toilet.

The neighbouring city of Port Coquitlam has outlined methods of "proper pet waste disposal" on its website. According to their guidelines, based on Metro Vancouver recommendations, pet owners can flush their dog or cat's feces down the toilet (but not kitty litter), build a pet poop compost, hire a "professional pet waste disposal service," or "search the Internet for pet toilet training techniques."

Many of the city's parks provide biodegradable dog poop bags, but the website points out they are only intended "for transporting the pet waste for proper disposal."

For its part, Metro Vancouver's website states that "pet waste is listed as prohibited from the region's garbage, but small amounts are accepted preferably double-bagged and put in the next pick-up."

Last month, Coquitlam councillor Terry O’Neill told The Tri-Cities Now that dog waste was a growing problem, especially in the Town Centre area — bringing the issue of pet waste disposal back into the spotlight.

The Port Coquitlam website states that according to Metro Vancouver, 15,000 tonnes of pet waste ends up in the landfill each year. There, it decomposes and generates methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the new program was in Port Coquitlam instead of Coquitlam.

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