Motorised poo-sucker huge success on the streets of Islington

A motorised poo-sucker has been introduced by Islington Council to help clean dog dirt off the borough’s streets.

The 'Poover'

The ‘Poover’, a cross between a poo-scooper and a vacuum cleaner, is being billed by the council as a “spraying, sucking, faeces-devouring machine”, and is the first vehicle of its kind to be used in the UK.

Built from a suction pump connected to a modified Honda 125cc motorbike, the Poover works by spraying a jet of water onto the poo, sucking it up through a pipe, and deodorising the area with a sweet-smelling scent, before speeding off into the distance.

It has a 25-litre capacity for storing dog dirt.

Launched late last year, the Poover, which is part of the council’s 18-page ‘Dog Strategy’, has now sprung into action on Islington’s streets.

“Islington residents have long made it clear that promoting responsible dog ownership is a top priority for them,” said Ruth Polling, council executive member for leisure and equalities. “While many residents do the right thing and clean up after their pets, there are still some people who leave the mess behind which is unsightly and unpleasant.

“Our street sweepers work very hard, seven days a week, and the Poover is another way Islington Council is tackling the issue.”

Councillor Greg Foxsmith hailed the Poover as a “great success”.

“It is working only as a practical resource for tackling the problem, but as a visible demonstration of our commitment to keeping the streets clean. The Poover works particularly well as a ‘rapid response’ solution,” he explained.

“Although our streets are swept daily, if some dog-fouling is reported by a member of the public, we can deploy the Poover quickly to that location, rather than leaving it to the next day’s sweep, by which time someone may have had the misfortune to step in the mess.”

Islington was nicknamed “London’s dog poo capital” in 2008 by local eco website, and the Poover is just the latest in a series of measures targeted at dog owners and their messy pets.

Andy Godfrey, director and editor of the London Dog Forum, said: “It all sounds a bit mad to me. It might discourage dog owners from picking up poo themselves, and it’s not that difficult to pick it up – unless the dog has diarrhoea. I wouldn’t like to be the guy who operates the Poover. And how on earth are they doing to empty it?”

“I suppose anything that makes it easier for dog owners to do the right thing and clean up after their pets is a good thing,” added Sean O’Meara, editor of K9 Magazine. “It won’t necessarily help us combat the problem of dog fouling, because all dog owners need to be willing in the first place and sadly that’s not the case.

“A new gadget may make it easier for people and will hopefully encourage those less committed to responsible dog ownership to clean up after their pet every time.”

Islington council declined to comment on how often the Poover is used or how much it costs to operate.

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