Satellite Tracks Toulouse Dog Poop

You thought GPS was for mis-guiding you down dusty byways to the wrong gite in rural France, well think again. In Toulouse GPS is for tracking unscooped dog poop – all 455,000 shovels full!

Drowning in dog detritus Toulouse harnesses GPS to zoom in on un-scooped poop

Pierre Cohen, the Socialist mayor of Toulouse – leader of high-tech cities in France – has unveiled his latest weapon for tidying up les trottoirs– GPS handheld devices for street wardens.

In a city where, the Mayor admits, cleanliness “leaves too much to be desired”, 300 municipal police, street cleaners and wardens are to be fitted out with pocket-sized PDAs or Personal Digital Assistants.

Top of their hit-list will be the 455,000 shovels of pungent dog excrement that presently plague the city’s streets.

Apparently citizen dog-lovers are real slouches when it comes to using poop scoops, canine toilets, poop bags, specially designated gutter drops, and the many other innovations the city has tried-out in vain over the years.

Toulouse is far from alone in the urban parade of poodle-pooped pavements, gungy grass verges, crotty city gardens and even turd-splats on train platforms.

Back in the mid-80s the then Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac unveiled a fleet of sleek poop scoopers whose high-tech bikes roamed the pavements, with brushes, pressure hoses, onboard vacuums and a spray of Grasse parfum in a bid to cleanup after the capital’s couldn’t care less dog-loving citoyens. To little avail it would seem, as now GPS is being harnessed in a cause that has clearly taken on the dimensions of Star Wars.

The idea as reported by La Dépêche is that when municipal street patrols happen upon what is delicately described as “a nuisance”, in their neighbourhood, they will whip out the built-in camera on their PDA and email the relevant council department with a geo-tagged photo of the dog crot, dead animal, graffiti tag, pothole, dumped mattress, illegally parked car, localised on the GPS geo tracking system. The department will then respond with appropriate clean-up measures within 24 hours, the council promises.

The system will cover all of Toulouse and its outer suburbs and according to the mayor because it enables a rapid intervention by the appropriate services, will help improve levels of street cleanliness.

The GPS poop-tracker is just one of a hundred new measures introduced by the Toulouse municipality in a bid to improve city sanitation.

But in truth and as everyone knows, the real culprits are the dog owners who
disdainfully ignore civic duty, and burden all ratepayers with the cost of cleaning up after them.

As the website Merde en France notes in a topical discussion on walking the dog “ce ne sont plus des trottoirs mais des crottoirs” roughly translated as “they are no longer sidewalks but slidewalks”

Optimistically calling on dog-owners to “Faisons du chien, un citoyen” — make your dog a citizen — it illustrates its point thus:

Well if you insist on owning a St Bernard….

Story: Ken Pottinger

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