From the Desk of the Publisher

Defecate Etiquette Part 2: Pack It In, Pack It Out

In my July 1 column, Defecate Etiquette Part 2, I asked for responses to the question of the propriety of depositing filled doggie poop bags into trash bins that were on the street. The responses I received gave me points to ponder.

Anne wrote, “People had been putting their filled doggie bags in my empty green waste cans. That’s if they bothered to pick it up at all. So I put signs on both my green cans saying ‘Please – NO Dog Poop in Green Cans’  – and then I hung some bright pink (hard to miss) doggie bags for people who didn’t have them. I’ve had no more problems.”

Joyce shared, “Although I am not thrilled to see dog feces bags in my filled trashcan, I find it totally disgusting to have it deposited in my newly emptied can. I get to smell dog feces every time I open my trashcan for a whole week! Ugh! It still smells even when it’s in a bag. I usually rush out to bring my trashcan in as soon as it has been emptied specifically for this reason. My neighbor says she only deposits her doggie bags into dog owners’ filled cans. I wish there were more like her.”

Randy was in agreement with Joyce and suggested putting the poo in a ziploc bag to help with the stink.

Dennis wrote, “My wife and I babysit friends’ dogs. We’ve always picked up after the dogs. I either deposit the bags in the barrel at Two Strike Park, or I throw them in our own trash. I’ve been tempted to throw them in trashcans (before pickup, of course) on the street, but what if the owners wouldn’t like it? So it’s either the barrel at Two Strike or our own trashcan.”

Kristy shared, “I am a dog owner … and I just carry my bag around; I know it’s icky, but I have a small can by my garage I deposit my bags in all week and then on garbage day dump into my larger can.”

A reader, A Very Nice Lady, wrote, “The common link in dog ownership is the mistaken belief that their dogs are not an affront to others. You can accept not everyone is a dog lover but you think that means we are neutral on the subject. It just isn’t so. I don’t want your dog poop in my trash. I don’t want your dog pee on my plants, curbside or otherwise. I can’t imagine lifting someone’s trash and depositing a bag of dog poop and not thinking they would mind. That is bizarre to me. I still want my disposals only in my bin, no contributions.”

Of course, not everyone was interested in sharing ideas. One reader chastised me for even asking the question and inquired whether or not I had “any sense of common decency.”

Mike reminded me of the impropriety of going onto someone’s property to deposit “the bag.” If trashcans are curbside, Mike said he thinks it’s okay to deposit if the can already has stuff in it; however, if no pre-existing stuff, then do not add your poop to the empty trashcan and hold onto it until you get home.

Mary shared, “Some years ago I found a box of pet waste bags (Zippy Paws) with handles. I put one in my pocket when we leave. When I need to pick up after Mutley, I pick up the poop and put the bag on my wrist. With this bag I just carry it home and put it in my own trash.”

So the overwhelming opinion, and one I take to heart, is bring it home and dispose in your own trashcan.

Perhaps my friend and reader Karen summed it up best: “Like the Boy Scout philosophy, if you pack it in, pack it out.”

Robin Goldsworthy is the publisher of the Crescenta Valley Weekly.
She can be reached at or
(818) 248-2740.