Dogshit   in   Amsterdam
Nederlandse versie updated  09-01-2008
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These are hard facts; no fables, no fiction, no exaggerations, no photoshop


The dog-faeces and -spreadings are felt as the biggest nuisance by the inhabitants and visitors of Amsterdam, especially in the Jordaan. The reason for that is the inability of Amsterdam regarding handhaving (which means 'maintaining') of the laws in the city. Because all the dog owners (should) pay every year their dog-tax, they feel paying already a cleaning fee. And the city is not willing to drop this (incorrect?) income. For the year 2004 the amount is € 73,44 per dog. Guusje ter Horst, alderman at that time of Amsterdams Department of Spatial Planning, Housing and the Environment (includes the department of Physical Planning in the Inner City), introduced late 1996 a law regarding cleaning-up all poop, even out of gutters and around trees. And that in the whole Inner City. When they figured out that it had no effect without 'handhaving', this law was taken away and the city decided early 1997 to organize following "festival".

while reading..
while reading ...


dog in the city  festival

In April 1997, the city of Amsterdam held a Dog in the City Festival. The idea was to present a public forum to discuss solutions for the dogshit problem. The public was invited to send in ideas and a jury would chose the 3 best. The winners would win 1000 guilders (455 euro) each !

And now the winning ideas:
1. Using the grassy areas between the tram tracks as a special dog walk and poop area. According to the jury this was the best solution and even called an 'eye-opener'. However, the Amsterdam transport department GVB found it a total absurd and impracticable idea. But that did not prevent the person who came up with this idea from winning 1000 guilders.
2. Mandatory attendance at a dog training course. (The head judge was the owner of a dog training school).
3. Designating some of the current parking spaces on the street as a dog poop zone and inlisting the unemployed to clean up the poop.

The costs of this comedy were about f.50.000,- (23.000 euro) without the hours of the civil servants. The citizens who put all their time and effort in finding serieus solutions were very disappointed when it became obvious that there was no intention to find a workable solution for this, lets face it, rather shamefull nuisance, especially for a west European capital.

Take a look at the report of one of the serious contributors.

If I had known it was meant as a comedy, than I surely would have sent my ridiculous idea in. A big chance that it might have been one of the three winners:
  ' A new environmental friendly Dutch culinary unicum:
    scrape the drolls together, a bit deepfrying and
    then sell them as fricandrollen on the Dam.'

    drol = turd,   fricandel = a deepfried roll of minced sort of meat

And you always can make an interesting aromatic corsage.

There is a saying (and if there isn't, than there is one now):
    ' Who lives in shit . . . doesn't smell it.'

faeces brooming around the tree



depo dog cabinet
one of the



dogshit corsage
at the festival


paardepoep damrak

even mounted policemen
leave their droppings
on the sidewalk

paardepoep korte prinsengracht

what about the law

In the Amsterdam center, there ARE rules regarding dog poop. Per December 4th 1997, all poop must be cleaned up, even from the gutters and around trees, etc. Dog owners are required to carry with them paper bags etc for cleaning up the mess. This according to Article 11 APV.
Dogs must be on the leash at all times in the Amsterdam center.
The first offence can result in a ticket of 60 guilders.
    source: Dienst Binnenstad Amsterdam

This is the law in Amsterdam center but I can assure you that contrary to how filthy some streets do appear, there are certainly laws regarding dog mess in the surrounding Amsterdam districts.

A campain started on April 7th, 1998 and for a long two weeks period some rather indistinct posters were trying to get these rules across. To top that off the dogtax payer got a leaflet in the mail. However, nowhere were and are these rules posted in public places, not even in the neighbourhood of the few cleaning apparatus or around children play-areas.

Beware: The ban on  pooping in the gutter  ónly applies for the Innercity and nót for the other stadsdelen.

poster dogshit rules


dogshit on the playground
toys & turds



During the 'Festival' some entrepreneurs showed their products from which a number of them (they claim) were quite successfull in different European cities: from paper scoopbags and poopscoopers to simpel green metal cabinets on a pedal from where a plastic bag could taken out.
tourists are curious about it But still, our civil servants choose for an other design and manufacturer . . some thousands of guilders each costing luxury man-sized dog figures. Topped off with non-vandal-proof sun panels. broken sun panels For a quarter you get a little box containing a few dogbiscuits and a plastic bag to throw the faeces into the nearby standing garbage bin. In Juni 1998, after a speach of the responsible alderman, four luxury dog figures were put here and there in the inner city as a test. That should solve the dogshit problem.

However, there is hardly any 'handhaving' (=maintain the fulfilment) regarding the cleanup-law. So the only users are curious tourists. Filling-up and maintance of the luxury figures is not done anymore.

After the summer of 2002 the goofies silently left Amsterdam.

Civil cervants of the department Dienst Binnenstad of the city of Amsterdam informed on February 2001 the (citizens) beheergroepen of the Jordaan that "due to reorganisation of Stadstoezicht . . . capacity problems . . . priorities . . . the last months there was no maintaining on cleaning up dogshit".
And that last part will not easily be changed.

luxury design dog
the dog figure
luxury dog goodies

dogfigure with shit
and in practice . .


can it be more
hondepoep op map

Every neighbourhood council has its own local laws to fight against the dogshit problem. Every neighbourhood council uses its own local methods to get dog-owners their poopscoop paraphernalia. Every neighbourhood council uses its own machines to at least remove the solid faeces from its public places.
Neighbourhood council Zeeburg succeeded even to let this statue of failure lose on its area called KNSM-island after the debacle in the Innercity.
In the Vondelpark there is a workgroup from neighbours busy to keep the park more turd free.
And neighbourhood council Oud-Zuid tries desperately to get the dogshit plague under controle on lawn and gravel of the recent redone Museumplein.

Recently, October 1999, the same alderman Guusje ter Horst said to be searching for other brilliant ideas or there has to be more handhaving (maintaining).
Let's hope we don't get another
    Dog in the City festival !
Engaging Guusje is now mayor of the town Nijmegen, saddling Amsterdam with an unsolved dogshit problem and a couple of idiotic dogshit figures spread over the town. In the meantime engaging Guusje has become mayor of Nijmegen and leaves Amsterdam with an unsolved dosshit problem and some idiot dog figures spread out over the city. Guusje started poopie-good with listening to the citizens, but failed pig-headed further on the traject. However, she did a lot of good with the introduction of the thorough Standaard Grachtenprofiel (stylish, without the poles called Amsterdammertjes). The InnercIty of Amsterdam, her residents and visitors should be grateful to her.

The local television station at5 as well as the daily newspaper Het Parool are failing heavily in covering and updating the biggest of the small annoyances. Besides a few short news stories and some letters to the editor the media is as silent as a clogged up toilet bowl. Apparently the newscovering media does not want to touch this undelicious subject. So that, with this subjective way of selecting the news covering in the Amsterdam area, the Amsterdam citizens themselves keep on stepping and sliding into those perpetual doggy faeces.
The Amsterdammer should not only rub the nose of his government but also of the newsmedia in the faeces left behind in virtually all public areas.

dogshit hoover

turd maker
at Museumplein

dogshit on bench
this is nó joke

turd alley
turd alley
dogshit shuffle
dogshit shuffle

dogpoop army dog

Stadsdeel Oud-Zuid has enough of it. She wants that all visitors of the festivities on the Museumplein can sit down again on the grass. Starting with a short parade of an army of White Turdmakers in oktober 2001 some dogpoopbag devices has been placed as city furniture which provide the well-intentioned ones with a free poopbag. Completed with a deposit-bin which has the poop-behave rules written on it. And it is said that even the Vondelpark will gonna fall under the new dogpoop policy.
This sounds hopeful, but in Dutch hoop also means pile.
It all depends what kind of shit Oud-Zuid will come up with to fight this never-ending War on Shit.

dogpoop army rijks
White Turdmakers
dogpoopbag dispenser
poopbag dispenser
with rules and map

Stadsdeel Zeeburg wanted to experience the failure of the socalled blister by itself and erected in 2000 a few dog figures on the KNSM-island. Soon one of them was, due to malfunctioning, converted and literally slimmed down to a useless piece of city furniture.
As  a monument of failure.
Finally in Septemter 2001 the deelraad decides to start ticketing and will make this public through flyers. And there will be free scoopbags and tools available.
A smelly déjà vu.

statue of dogshit thin failure

hondenbelasting omhoog

Several experiments have already been made and many were expected to fail from the start. And tried more than once. Recently the southern town of Oirschot threw away sixty thousand guilden: their dog owners were too embarrassed to walk around with a metal vegetable steamer on a stick to prevent bending down.

To make up for the tremendous city deficit, Amsterdam planned in June 2003 to double the city dog tax. How the dog walkers would react to that is easy to guess. The purposal encountered too much resistance and the city council agreed in the end to raise the dogtaxes with 25 percent.



What rest is waiting for a manager who puts (enough) trash cans with the cleaning-up-rules posted on them plús maintains those rules continuously for a long time. This has been asked before, but not tried out yet.

And if the city tax for keeping a (first) dog will be abolish or largely reduced, then this may lead to a workable compromise.

On February 24, 2006 the Amsterdam daily newspaper Het Parool wrote: 'City council Old-West declared that all dogpoop must be cleaned up, even from the gutters'. It seems that the in 1997 introduced law regarding dogpoop in the Innercity needs much more publicity. The reason of notreally knowing this dogpoop rule in the Innercity, is the successful secret keeping of it; nobody cares that there is no controlling on or booking for dogpooping. Everybody happy, except the in-the-poop-steppers.

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©keitje I'm not complaining , just explaining