Oct 2, 2009

Should you Compost Your Dog Waste?

We believe in composting because not only does it allow reuse of waste but as with all sustainable efforts it makes one think about what they consume.

Our Twitter site has an ongoing discussion on composting

Sadly most animal waste does not compost easily(unless one has sophisticated equipment).

The article below discusses attempts to change this

Can dog poop be composted?

That’s exactly what a dog park in Ithaca, N.Y. is looking to address.

The park hopes to manage its doggy waste through a pilot composting program, where the feces will be collected in corn-based bags and picked up weekly to be studied by Cayuga Compost.

What has yet to be determined is the end-result of the waste. The hope is that it can be composted once Cayuga studies its composition, which would provide a solution to handling the 20 billion pounds of dog poop generated each year.

The main issue is that excrement contains pathogens and other materials, making it unsafe to use in gardens or to help grow food unless that material is removed.

The plan for Ithaca’s dog waste is that if it can’t be used as compost, it will be used as deep-fill dirt or topsoil.

Regardless of what happens with the dog excrement, by using corn-based bags the park is addressing one area of waste management. These bags are designed to biodegrade in landfills in a short period of time, and they are also compostable unlike petroleum-based bags.

Another option for pet waste is to collect it in flushable bags and put it in the toilet. This way, it will go through the same water sanitation process as human waste, and the bags biodegrade in water.

This isn’t the first time that a dog park has researched composting programs. A Montreal park created its program in 2004, and was still trying to figure out a usable end product four years later.

Trey Granger is a staff member at Earth911.com.

10-1-09

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