Talking lamp posts lead to 80 percent drop in dog fouling at Irish seaside

Talking lamp posts cuts down on dog dirt by 80 percent in Dublin coastal area of Baldoyle

"Talking" lamp posts have decreased the amount of dog fouling that occurs on the Baldoyle's seaside walkway by 80 percent.

Audio devices installed on the poles emit verbal warnings when detecting movement and warn passers-by: "Keep Fingal clean and enjoy your walk.

"Dog foul is dangerous for children. Please clean up after your dog."

Incidents went down from 76 per week before the installation of the devices to an average of 14 per week afterwards.

The Irish Independent reports that the initiative came about as part of a study carried out by Fingal County Council in conjunction with researchers from NUI Maynooth and RiteView Solutions Ltd.

Fine Gael councillor Kieran Dennison said: "Littering and dog fouling accounts for a lot of complaints from the public. It is a public health issue.

"The 82pc reduction in the trial is very impressive, but significantly many dog owners are still prepared to let their pets foul the public pathways."

The study involved measuring the amount of fouling before and during a trial period earlier this year and testing various methods of covert surveillance that could be used to catch illegal dumpers.

Dennison added: "I expect to get a full report on the trial in the New Year after which we will look at deploying new technology to apprehend those who think nothing of littering and dumping on the rest of us.

"Noting the success of the initiative in Baldoyle, a council spokesman said it was the first local authority in the country to pilot the use of audio devices to combat dog fouling."

"It is recognised that combating dog fouling poses a significant challenge. Enforcement alone will not solve this problem. Education and awareness, resulting in behavioral change, is much more likely to achieve a much more positive long-term outcome."

Up to 3,800 people use the promenade each week, with 9 percent of these dog walkers, equating to an average of 48 dogs per day.