Making Doo with Dog Poop Compost

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Sustainable Practices for Pet Waste

Dog poop compost
Creative Commons License photo credit: evocateur

The American Pet Association estimates that 78 million dogs in the U.S. produce nearly 11 million tons of waste per year. Brace yourself- that’s enough to cover over 36,000 football fields with a foot of dog waste! Most people pick up their dog’s waste and toss it in the trash. In some communities, it’s illegal to put dog poop in the trash, so there’s a better and more clever solution. An environmentally friendly way to deal with your dog’s doo is to make dog poop compost.

With millions of tons of pet waste entering our landfills each year, and most of it preserved in non-biodegradable plastic, there are literally piles of opportunity to make a better impact on our environment.

The Doggie Dooley is one alternative way to dispose of pet waste safely and control odors. Doggie Dooley products are available online and utilize natural bacteria and enzyme cultures to reduce dog waste to a  liquid absorbed into the ground. Simply shovel poop into the system, occasionally add water and a non-toxic powder. The Digester Powder is a mixture designed especially for pet waste. The systems won’t harm pets, lawns, and shrubs.

dog poop compostThe Waste Manager is another easy and green way to dispose of dog waste.

If you like to do things for yourself, it’s also possible to make a DIY homemade dog poop disposal system designed to perform like a mini septic tank, made with items found at a hardware store. This way is a bit less expensive, but requires a little time and upkeep. The main components are a plastic or stainless steel bucket or container and septic system treatment in the form of a powder or liquid. The size of your container depends on the size of and how many dogs you have. This video includes more in depth instructions. If you use bags, make sure they are biodegradable, as they are able to go right in.

Remember, dog poop compost is broken down instead of going into a landfill, and is not meant to be added to garden compost. While other animal (cow, sheep, horse) manures make useful fertilizer, pathogens and parasites like roundworms carried in dog poop can cause diseases in humans and should not be incorporated into garden compost piles. Don’t try this at home unless you follow instructions carefully and know what you’re doing.

Other Tips

  • If you don’t feel like doing any of this, there are companies in many cities that will come out to your home and clean up and compost pet waste for you, just a Google search away.
  • San Francisco has been making dog poop compost and using it as an alternative energy source since 2006. The city is uses a giant digester as described earlier, which uses bacteria to convert organic waste into methane gas, which is captured and burned. This produces energy in the form of electricity and natural gas.
  • Check out EnviroWagg for more details on dog poop compost, and on establishing a dog waste composting program at your local dog park.
  • Don’t forget that elephant poop is recycled into cool paper products that make cool gifts.

Actions like these help lessen our footprint and paw print on the earth. Waste not, want not!

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