Are you concerned about the amount of plastic in landfills? Are you worried that you might be contributing too much to it by owning a dog? We all want to be responsible pet owners, and that means cleaning up after our dogs. But we also want to protect the environment.
There are plenty of methods for how to dispose of dog poop, but many of them are not very environmentally-friendly. Fortunately, greener methods for removing dog poop are becoming more widely available and used.
These are the currently-known ways for how to dispose of dog poop the green way:
- Using biodegradable poop bags.
- Compost The Waste.
- Flush It Down The Toilet.
- Using Waste Digesters And Outdoor Flushing.
- Scoop & Bury.
Now, let’s get in to the details of each method.
Biodegradable Poop Bags
Many dog owners like to reuse plastic shopping bags as pet waste bags. Unfortunately, plastic bags are atrocious for the environment. If you pick up dog poop three times a day in a plastic bag, that means your put around one thousand bags into a landfill every year.
Biodegradable poop bags are the answer for any dog owner who wants to be responsible and pick up after their dog but also hates the idea of adding so much plastic to landfills. These bags are commonly made from petroleum or corn.
The corn-based bags are more expensive but better for the environment. Unfortunately, landfills are not designed to let things decompose very well, so even a biodegradable bag will take considerable time to break down. They are still better than plastic, however, and are made from renewable resources.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine if a “biodegradable” poop bag is really all that biodegradable. Some states, such as California, have stricter standards. Fortunately, government organizations are putting more regulations on the manufacturers of dog waste bags so consumers can make more educated decisions.
One of the best choices currently available on the market are BioBag pet waste bags.
Compost the Waste
Composting is gaining in popularity as a method for disposing of dog waste in a way that benefits both you and the environment.
You might have been told animal waste should not be composted because of the pathogens it can contain. This is true. Compost made from dog waste should never be put on food gardens. However, for ornamental gardens, composted dog waste can make excellent fertilizer.
Compost piles need the right combination of carbon, nitrogen, air and water to be effective. Dog poop is high in nitrogen, and other substances, such as leaves, food waste and newspapers can provide the rest.
It is relatively easy to make a dog poop composter yourself, check out the video below for instructions.
Scoop and Flush It Down the Toilet
Some dog owners may arrive at the conclusion that it’s best to just flush your dog’s poop down the toilet. After all, we do it for people, and it makes more sense than tossing plastic bags full of poop into a landfill.
Unfortunately, this is not a solution for every dog owner. Water treatment plants are set up to treat the water for containments common in human feces – not the containments dog poop may contain.
However, there are a growing number of municipalities that have altered their water treatment centers to accommodate dog waste as well. There are flushable dog poop bags on the market, but unless your city and water treatment plant are equipped to handle them, you should not flush the bag down the toilet with the poop.
Do not dispose of cat feces in the same manner unless your water treatment center specifically says that is okay. Cat poop contains completely different pathogens and breaks down very differently.
Waste Digesters and Outdoor Flushing
These are two newer solutions to the pet waste problem that may be the solution for you. Both of these options are currently available on the market if you are looking for how to dispose of dog poop the green way.
You bury a waste digester such as the Doggie Dooley in your yard, which is around the size of a bucket, and add the poop, water and an enzyme about once a week.
This turns the solution into a liquid which is then drained into the soil. This solution is completely bagless and returns the nutrients from the poop back into the soil. It also keeps your trash can from smelling bad.
The apparatus required for outdoor flushing is a little more involved. It will need to be installed by a professional, because outdoor flushing requires a connection to the sewer line that runs under your property.
As like with flushing the poop down the toilet mentioned above, outdoor flushing also requires that you contact your local water treatment plant to ensure they can handle dog waste. This method has the advantage of not needing any bags or requiring you to take the poop into your house.
Dog Poop Burial
Simply burying your dog’s waste in the yard is considered acceptable by some environmental experts. However, it must be done properly to prevent contamination.
Waste needs to be buried in a hole at least six to twelve inches deep. You should ensure that the water table is not high enough that any containments can get into it as well. It is best to bury dog poop without a bag, but if you must, use biodegradable corn bags.
Burying your dog’s poop is usually only an option if you do not live in a high population density area. Trying to do this in a city is likely to create environmental and health concerns.
Environmentally-conscious dog owners should remain aware of upcoming technologies and get involved in making them available for pet waste disposal.
New technologies on the horizon include biogas technology, which uses gases emitted during the breakdown of dog poop to create fuel. It is not currently used to a wide enough extent for disposing of pet waste.
There are a number of options available to you if you want to dispose of your dog’s waste in an environmentally-friendly manner. You can compost the waste, bury it, flush it down the toilet or collect it in biodegradable bags.
Corn-based biodegradable poop bags such as BioBag pet waste bags and waste digesters such as the Doggie Dooley are products to try. Also be on the lookout for new products and technologies as they become more widely available.
What are your thoughts? What is your preferred method for getting rid of your dog’s poop that doesn’t strain the environment? Be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions.