Dear Urban Diplomat: is it OK to dump dog waste in neighbours’ green bins?

Dear Urban Diplomat: is it OK to dump dog waste in neighbours’ green bins?

(Image: Neal Jennings) 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
We keep our green bin on the front porch, and a dog walker has taken to depositing his pooch’s freshly scooped poop in it. This is particularly annoying when it happens on a Tuesday, just after compost pickup, because the vile excrement sits there, festering, for a week. This is poor pet-iquette, right? Should I confront him?

—Shit disturbed,

Allow me to briefly take the side of your nemesis. Anyone who owns a dog in the city understands the burning urge to ditch the doo-doo as quickly as possible, especially if you’re using one of those virtuous biodegradable bags that threatens to disintegrate in your hand before the walk is over. Yet my empathy ends when the dog walker in question crosses your property line, mounts your front steps and makes you the keeper of the poo without your consent. However minor, trespassing is absolutely bad form, and you’re right to feel ever so slightly violated (like a 0.5 out of 10 on the violation scale).

The walk-by doodle drop is acceptable only when the bin is out on the curb before pickup, and removal is imminent. If the bin is lingering out on the sidewalk, post-pickup, the polite dog walker will consider the season: winter, green light (poopsicles don’t smell); summer, glaring red light (must I spell this out?).

If the dog walker violates this unspoken code, you’re authorized to confront him. But tread carefully: that steaming bag could double as a makeshift grenade in a pinch. If you’re not the confrontational type, try moving your bin to the backyard or tricking it out with locks. Either that, or embrace your role as the neighbourhood micro-dump: better the poop putrefy in your bin than on the soles of your shoes.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at