A MOVE to save money by removing dog bins across Bromsgrove has been slammed by the leader of the opposition Labour group on the district council.
The bins for dog waste are being removed from areas where they sit next to litter bins, in an attempt to de-clutter and improve the appearance of the district.
In these areas, dog owners are now being encouraged to dispose of dog waste using the normal litter bins, or mix waste with household waste provided it is bagged tightly and put inside grey bins.
Bromsgrove District Council says removal of the bins will cut maintenance costs, while reducing the chance of having bins overflowing or smelly as litter bins are emptied more frequently than dog bins.
But the move has been cricitised by Councillor Luke Mallett, leader of the opposition group, saying residents were now receiving a confused message after years of being told to only put the waste in dog waste bins.
"Residents are already concerned about the levels of dog mess," he said.
"Removing dog mess bins can only make the problem worse.
"The health risks, particularly to children, of dog mess are significant - the call to put dog mess in open litter bins could add to this.
"This is the wrong saving to be making and flies in the face of claims from the Conservative leadership that front line services are not being affected by their cuts.
"I'd urge the leadership to think again on this daft dogs dinner of a policy."
But Councillor Mark Bullivant, whose portfolio covers waste management, said it seemed sensible to remove dog bins, in areas that already have litter bins.
He said: "Not only will it improve the appearance of the district, it will also reduce collection and maintenance costs – not to mention having less, smelly, overflowing dog bins.
"I would encourage residents not to be concerned over the bin removals and look at the positives.”
A district council spokesman said: “The council is always looking for money saving options and this is certainly one of those.
"The dog-waste specific bins were often filled with litter which meant the excrement was left on the ground and had to be cleaned up.
“We have removed six bins so far from Bromsgrove, all of which were adjacent to litter bins.
“Any dog bins still in good condition may be re-used elsewhere, and some are also being moved short distances to improved locations."