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Park Etiquette

A woman and man walk in a park

The City of Waterloo owns and manages more than 800 hectares (1,977 acres) of greenspace that is used for sports, parks, trails, woodlots, waterways, environmental lands and much more.

We encourage you to respect and protect these lands at all times by following some basic tips.

  • Obey all signs posted in the park
  • Stay on designated trails and respect all trail users
  • Keep dogs on leashes (unless you are in the leash-free area at Bechtel Park) and do not let pets roam free
  • Leave wildlife alone - the Ministry of Natural Resource's website has more information on living with wildlife
  • Do not disturb, remove or plant vegetation
  • Remember, encroachment on public property is prohibited

New in 2017! Dog waste recycling containers

Effective May 2017, three parks in Waterloo will participate in a dog waste recycling pilot project.

Lakeshore Optimist Park

When dog owners do not pick up after their dog, it makes it difficult for others to enjoy their time in the park. Sometimes children cannot play on their school field because dog owners have left pet waste on the ground.  

One dog waste recycling container will be installed at the following parks, in highly visible locations:  

  • Bechtel Dog Park
  • St. Moritz Park
  • Lakeshore Optimist Park

How do I use the container?

Dog owners pick up dog waste and drop it into the container from the opening in the top. Any type of bag can be used with these containers - they do not have to be compostable. The waste drops into the container that is installed underground.

How is the container emptied? 

A dog waste removal company will empty the containers with a vacuum truck and ship the waste to Bio-En in Elmira. 

Why have only three parks been chosen for the project?

These parks were chosen for the pilot project because of the high volume of dog owners in each area. The project will be reviewed in a year's time to determine if it can be expanded into other parks in Waterloo.

Green bin

What if my park doesn't have one of these containers? 

Dog waste does not belong in public garbage cans. In areas where the dog waste recycling container is not available, use a compostable bag to pick up waste, carry it home and dispose of it in your green bin at home, as per Region of Waterloo instructions.

Why is it important to pick up dog waste?

When dog owners pick up dog waste and dispose of it properly - either in these new receptacles or at home in the green bin, they reduce the number of overflowing, smelly garbage cans and increase the overall enjoyment of our parks. Your co-operation will help us to reduce maintenance costs and maintain the integrity of our greenspaces now and for future generations.

Overflowing canCity of Waterloo staff empty public garbage cans throughout our parks and open spaces on a 10 to 14 day rotation schedule. When they are filled with dog waste, it is difficult and sometimes dangerous, for staff to empty the cans safely. 

Household waste does not belong in public garbage cans either. All household waste must be disposed of at home as per Region of Waterloo instructions

The results are in!

After 45 days, it is clear dog owners love the new dog waste recycling containers.

  • Over 600kg - that's about 1322lbs of waste was diverted from the landfill
  • An estimated .06 metric tonnes of CO2 was diverted from the atmosphere
  • The waste was taken to an anaerobic bio-digester where it was safely converted to electricity and fertilizer

By using these containers, dog owners helped reduce the number of overflowing, smelly garbage cans in Bechtel Dog Park, St. Moritz Park and Lakeshore Optimist Park.