ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) (Original story from May 18, 2015) It's not fun picking up after your pet, but doing so can save the environment and a few pairs of shoes.
Mill Mountain Garden Club and the Clean Valley Council are teaming up for the second annual "Scoop the Poop" campaign.
It kicks off Wednesday in downtown Roanoke. At 9:30 a.m., city leaders will gather in the Open Space Park behind the City Market Building, near Billy's.
Scoop the Poop aims to educate the public on how dangerous pet waste is to the environment. Leaders are trying to encourage pet owners to always pick up after their furry friends.
According to city and county records, there are about 13,000 licensed dogs in the area. An average dog can produce 276 lbs. of waste every year. If owners don't clean that up, the waste washes directly into our storm water system.
One gram of dog waste has 23 million E. coli bacteria, which will live for three years even after rain washes away waste into the storm water system, according to Scoop the Poop organizers.
Mill Mountain Garden Club is pushing to install more pet bag dispensers throughout the valley. Members are also heading to schools to teach children about the importance of cleaning up dog waste, in hopes they'll tell their parents about the campaign.