EnviroWagg, LLC
 
EnviroWagg, LLC
P.O. Box 460576
Aurora, CO 80046
(303) 617-7049
envirowagg@comcast.net
background rationale process strategy

Background

More than a nuisance

Dog waste is a recognized pollutant that is unsightly, smelly, and potentially contains disease-causing pathogens. The U. S. pet population is now outpacing the human population. According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 63% of all American households own pets - up from 56% in 1988. The American Pet Association estimates that 83 million dogs in the US produce 11+ million tons of waste per year. If we add the nation's 88 million cats, we get an annual total of 15.5 million tons - enough to cover more than 5,000 football fields 10 feet deep!

What do you do with it?

Toilets and sanitary sewage treatment have provided modern man with a workable solution to human waste disposal. But there is no effective, broadly-implemented solution to eliminating the problem of pet waste. At this point, guardians, shelters, kennels, breeders, pet shops, municipalities, and pick-up services are left to their own devices. Currently the most common way to disposel of pet waste is tossing it in the trash or, in the case of 40% of dog waste, leaving it on the ground. Both have negative consequences.

Landfills = waste in perpetuity

Most cat waste and approximately 60% of the dog waste is dumped into garbage bins which are emptied into landfills. The trash option usually involves plastic bags which can take centuries to degrade while the waste inside is preserved for posterity while emitting methane. The landfills themselves are disasters waiting to happen.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources states: "Current landfill designs and practices do not provide for degradation of landfilled organic wastes within a defined and reasonable timeframe. Undegraded organic wastes can potentially cause future environmental or economic impacts if the landfill gas and leachate collection and containment systems (cap and/or liner) fail at some time in the future. Potential economic burdens and environmental risks associated with these undegraded wastes will be largely borne by future generations."

According to the U. S. Geological Survey, "…landfills are designed to minimize contamination of ground water, but modern landfills eventually may leak contaminants into the environment." Plus, landfills account for 18% of all methane released in the U.S.

Across the country, landfills are topping out, raising rates, and losing favor as a solution for the 230 million tons of solid waste generated in the U. S. annually. Ecologically savvy communities are looking for innovative ways to divert waste from landfills.

Letting nature take its course

Studies show that roughly 40% of all dog owners do not "stoop and scoop." Don't kid yourself - the ecosystem does not gracefully embrace the dog waste. If left intact, it can take more than a year to break down. Until then it poses a health threat to people and pets. Unlike wild animals that actually help propagate forests with their thinly deposited scat, domesticated dogs leave waste behind in concentrated areas and in proximity to human activity. The resulting nuisance factors are obvious.

Dog waste can quickly turn any outdoor area into a site unfit for humans. In addition to the mess and smell it creates, raw waste kills grass and other landscape ornamentals. Dog waste dropped along trails kills native plants and encourages noxious weed infestation. Residual waste left at ground zero runs off untreated into storm sewers and waterways.

Recent studies indicate that dogs are third or fourth on the list of contributors to bacteria in contaminated waters, increasing the potential for serious diseases, including cholera and dysentery. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that two days worth of dog waste from about 100 dogs can create enough pollution to close a bay and all the watersheds within 20 miles. In addition to threats to humans, bacteria that feed on dog waste deplete oxygen, killing native aquatic life. The bacteria also feed algae blooms which block sunlight and suffocate fish.

Read more

How Do Landfills Work?

Dog Waste Poses Threat to Water, USA Today