By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A new study from apartment listing company RentHop has found that Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents have seemingly become much more diligent in their pooper scooper duties in the last five years. The company examined the number of 311 complaints submitted about dog waste on the sidewalk and found that the neighborhood had seven complaints in 2010 alone but only one in every year since then except 2015, in which there were zero. RentHop data scientist Shane Leese said that the numbers for the neighborhood are lower than most of the other areas around it.
Although Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the surrounding neighborhoods saw big decreases in the number of complaints, other Manhattan neighborhoods saw increases, as high as 180 percent on the Upper West Side.
Leese said that both Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the Flatiron neighborhood have had decreases in the number of complaints this year, with the decrease in Flatiron being the most significant: last year there were 10 complaints and this year there have been two, for an decrease of 80 percent. The Gramercy neighborhood is doing less well with five complaints so far this year, a 400 percent increase from last year when there was only one complaint in the same period.
The decrease in STPCV seems less significant because it’s only a difference of one complaint, but the starting point was not high to begin with: last year up to this point, there was one complaint, and this year there have been zero. Based on the number of complaints filed with 311, the doggy landmines seem to spike near the end of the winter, which Leese said may have more to do with snow melting to reveal long-lost poop rather than an increase in the carelessness of dog owners.
Leese said that the company didn’t compare income or the cost of rent in the neighborhoods with the number of 311 complaints but there did seem to be a correlation between the percentage of registered dogs and the number of complaints.
“People who don’t register dogs might be kind of people who don’t bother to pick up,” Leese theorized. “And it seemed like that might be the case.”
Manhattan has the highest percentage of registered dogs, with 35 percent of the dogs in the borough being registered, but it had the second lowest amount of complaints at 11.61 percent.
Leese did note that the number of complaints might not correlate exactly with how much dog poop is actually left out on the sidewalks.
“It’s almost more indicative of how many people have stepped in it,” he said. “You have to care enough about it to actually file the complaint.”