Council replaces volunteer-run bin

John Brown with his Terrier Treacle at the poo box he made as the council refused to install one near a popular walk near his home in Newstead.
John Brown with his Terrier Treacle at the poo box he made as the council refused to install one near a popular walk near his home in Newstead.

Scottish Borders Council has at last installed a dog waste bin at a popular dog walking route near Melrose after a volunteer-run bin had been removed after four years.

John Brown, of Rushbank, was compelled to build and install a wooden dog waste bin four years ago when the council refused to install one on Trimontium Road, Newstead. At the time a request to the council for a new bin on the route was turned down as there was already a bin at the other end of the walk at Leaderfoot.

However, John along with two other volunteers ran the now-defunct Newstead Youth Group over nine years during which they made and distributed posters highlighting the dog mess problem in the area.

He cleaned and maintained the bin and emptied an average of 15kg of dog poo every second week. Last November he ended his tireless assistance due to ill health.

The council has since put in a new bin which they regularly check and empty. It was installed in January this year.

John, 67, said: “I am pleased that the council has finally realised the need for the bin. It is ridiculous that it had to go to the paper first though.

“There is now one at either end of the Trimontium/Leaderfoot walk.

“Scottish Borders Council are constantly asking us to pick up and bin rubbish, especially to bin dog poo, yet when asked for bins they say no. Why? They cannot quote costings as they have regular bin wagons drive past almost every bin, surely these could be added to their pick up routes if required too.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “A permanent replacement litter and dog waste bin has been installed near the gate at the Newstead end of the road. There has always been a bin at the other end of the road, near the Leaderfoot bridges.

“These bins are checked and emptied weekly.”

John added: “Melrose and District Community Council have been at the council for over 14 months for bins. All they now ask for is one at end of Black path at Dean Road. We live in hope.”