• Hoboken Wants You to Adopt a Pet Waste Station

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    In the ongoing effort to keep the Mile Square dog sh*t free, the City of Hoboken is launching a new campaign that encourages residents and companies to adopt-a-pet waste station. Much like the popular nationwide adopt-a-highway program, adopting a pet waste station would mean the adoptee takes care of the station, frequently ensures the surrounding area is clean, and regularly provides refills of plastic poop bags.

    In a recent tweet, the City of Hoboken wrote, “Help keep Hoboken #clean and adopt-a-pet waste station! Please fill out the form… if you are interested in adopting a pet waste station to provide pet waste bags and help reduce pet waste on our streets {sic}.” Keep reading to learn more about the adopt a pet waste station program in Hoboken. 

    city of hoboken dog poop station

    Pet Waste Stations in Hoboken

    pet waste station hoboken

    {Photo credit: Twitter}

    In an online document, the City of Hoboken put out an official request for residents to adopt a station. As you may recall, the free pet waste stations in Hoboken were added in May 2019 in an effort to combat pet waste. In addition to the pet waste stations, Hoboken also cracked down on dog-doo thanks to the help of a new, strictly-enforced ordinance.

    See More: A Guide to Picking Up Your Dog’s Sh*t in Hoboken

    According to the May 2019 press release, “The stations, which will include a starter supply of pet waste bags, will be purchased and installed by the City free of charge for interested property owners or condominium associations pledging to maintain and refill the station with bags.”

    At the time, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla said in a statement, “My administration is committed to clean streets and sidewalks. I encourage property owners across Hoboken to help play a role and adopt free pet waste stations, which have been successful in reducing pet waste in other regions.”

    The ordinance detailed that the following pet-related offenses would be more strictly enforced:

    • Leashed dogs: Dogs on sidewalks, streets, and in parks must be on a leash, except when in a dog run.
    • Picking up poop: Failing to pick up after your pet on sidewalks, streets, and in parks is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.
    • Licensing your pet: All dogs in Hoboken MUST be licensed by law. Learn more: hobokennj.gov/petlicense.
    • Disposal of pet poo: Dispose of pet waste in your trash can or in one of Hoboken’s 300+ public trash cans.

    As a response to the ordinance, Hoboken PD did go a little ticket-happy for a minute there, ticketing owners for having their dogs on public Hoboken grass. {That was a whole thing, but luckily, it has died down.}

    How the Pet Waste Stations Will Work

    When a property owner or manager in Hoboken requests a pet waste station, the City purchases and installs one {free of charge!} within a one-block radius of the property. The starter kit comes with one pet waste bag dispenser with signage and a starter supply of pet waste bags. As soon as the inaugural roll runs out, the owner of the station is responsible for refilling it.

    dog waste bags example

    {Photo credit: City of Hoboken}

    As part of this second wave of promoting the adopt-a-pet waste stations, applicants must fill out a request online but the City states, are not guaranteed to a pet-waste station. Myriad factors such as an applicant’s available budget will be considered. According to the online Adopt-a-Pet Waste Station request, residents who apply to adopt a pet waste station agree to the following items {amongst others}:

    • Applicant agrees to refill the pet waste station with bags within two {2} days of it being empty. Should the applicant not refill the pet waste station with bags within two {2} days of it being empty, the City reserves the right to relocate the pet waste station.
    • Applicant agrees to maintain the pet waste station including dispenser and signage.
    • Applicant agrees to encourage neighbors to properly dispose of pet waste.
    • Applicant must be a Hoboken property owner or manager in compliance with the Hoboken Registered Agent ordinance. Applicant will designate a registered agent {primary contact person}, identified on this request form in typed name and signature. Applicant will notify the City of Hoboken when there is a change in the registered agent.
    • Applicant agrees to notify the Department of Environmental Services via email if the dispenser or signs are vandalized or stolen. The City of Hoboken is not liable for any damage to the pet waste station.
    • Applicant agrees to review the Hoboken Dogs and Other Animals ordinance.

    Does this sound like you or something you want to volunteer to do? Then go for it. You go, Glen Coco! On behalf of the residents here, we need amazing, selfless people like you to provide poopy bags for all the dogs of Hoboken. So: Thank you.

    Other Waste Bag Options

    dog poop hoboken

    That being said, we’d love to draw your attention to an environmentally-friendly, biodegradable option for doggy poop bags. Have you heard of BioBags? This trash bag company makes pet waste bags that are 100% compostable and biodegradable, which means given the right circumstances, these bags actually break down naturally and eventually, turn into soil. {They also make bags for regular kitchen trash, lawn, leaf, and garden waste bags, as well as biodegradable produce bags.}

    See More: Dog Park Etiquette — What to Know When Visiting With Pups

    According to the BioBag website, BioBags can be composted along with organic waste in municipal composting facilities. This most likely means it won’t break down if you trash it or add it to your own residential compost. The bag, which meets the ASTM D6400 standard specification for plastic labels, needs the environment of an industrial composting facility to break down. There, it can be aerobically composted in a municipal facility. Luckily, Hoboken has one of those — the Hoboken Community Compost Company.

    Poop {particularly, pet poop} isn’t bad for the environment. In an ideal world, we could just leave the poop behind where it would break down naturally. However, that’s not an option in a city. {It also probably wouldn’t break down so great on concrete, either!} Since leaving puppy poo-poo behind is never an option in the Mile Square — we all want our City to be as clean as possible after all, and no one wants to step in a hot, steaming pile of you-know-what — biodegradable bags are a great, eco-friendly option for us all.

    Of course, it’s just a suggestion. Even plastic pet waste bags will be greatly appreciated if you so choose to adopt a pet waste station! Have more questions? Feel free to contact the Hoboken Department of Environmental Services at 201.420.2000 x4000 or dcalamoneri@hobokennj.gov.

    What do you think about the City’s latest anti-pet-waste initiative? Let us know in the comments below!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.