Two friends in Albert Lea, Minnesota have launched a dog waste removal service with the mission to “educate and guide pet owners in the safe and responsible composting and upcycling of their dogs’ waste.” See the full story of these two eco-savvy pioneers.
EnviroWagg is customizing a 40-ft. in-vessel tumbler to begin composting dog waste in an enclosed unit. We recently added a new auger and entry chute. An ALLU screening bucket recently arrived on site. This new equipment will break up compostable bags used at the dog parks and screen out any debris left in public disposal bins designated for dog waste. Opening the bags will enable air, moisture and helpful aerobic microbes to process our source material into a safe and productive soil amendment. By the end of 2016 we expect to have finished compost for evaluation. Composting keeps dog waste out of sealed landfills, reduces the volume by 50% and results in a nutrient-rich garden soil.
Composting also reduces methane emissions. Landfill methane is produced because organic materials sealed in a landfill undergo anaerobic decomposition. Basically, this means that because municipal solid waste that is buried in a landfill does not receive oxygen, it will be degraded by microbes that produce methane. A compost pile, on the other hand, undergoes aerobic decomposition. Because it is exposed to oxygen and degraded by a different type of living organisms, composting material produces CO2 (carbon dioxide) instead of methane.
The City of Vancouver will be paying a local company to help keep dog poop out of landfills through a new initiative coming to three city parks.
Although the amount of dog waste that can be diverted from just three parks may seem small, the results of a similar program Metro Vancouver has been running in four of its regional parks since 2011 suggest otherwise.
On average, 1,500 kilograms of poop per month is diverted from landfills through dog waste-only bins at Pacific Spirit Park alone. Between the four parks where the bins are used, Metro Vancouver projects that 30 tonnes were taken out of the garbage stream in 2015, at a budgeted cost less than $50,000.
Red Deer in Alberta is among leading-edge cities collecting pet waste and litter along with its compostables. If all goes well, their two-year Green Cart pilot program will go city-wide in 2017. Will plastic bags be a problem? Not when residents follow city instructions: “Look for compostable bags – not biodegradable or degradable – certified with the BPI or Compostable logo. They can be found alongside garbage bags at most retailers.” And “good guys” GLAD Canada is providing corporate support by donating compostable bags to all pilot households.
One hundred seventy-nine million dogs and cats live in the U.S. That’s more than the number of people who called this place home in 1959. Back in the days of doo-wop, pets roamed free and did their business wherever. Outdoor cats buried their droppings discretely; we never saw it. Nobody cleaned up after dogs. Our job was to not step in it. Read more.
So you think you have household recycling covered?
If you recycle with due diligence, your weekly contribution to a truck headed for the landfill is probably small. Especially if you send putrescible waste – organic material such as leaves, branches, grass clippings and food scraps – back to nature.
Do you have a cat or a dog? Then you already know that their poop and litter can really add ballast to the weekly trash bag. Chances are good that this, ahem, organic material is a no-no even for composters.
“Every time I tell someone about my poop scooping business, their first questions is always ‘what do you do with it?’ When I answer ‘put it in the trash,’ it never sounds like the answer I want to really give.” Do you ever feel like that scooper? Join us at our upcoming book signing at the Tattered Cover at Aspen Grove in Littleton for some fun Q&A at our book signing event. The book? Why The Pet Poo Pocket Guide, of course.
Halifax and other nearby Canadian municipalities require residents to toss compostables into clear bags so that collectors ensure that items meet composting criteria. New rules ask Halifax clients to deposit pet waste loose or in small clear plastic bags. “This requirement rankles many Halifax dog owners because the municipality’s suggestion to use see-through poop bags such as baggies means they’re tossing non-biodegradable bags in the landfill.”
The search for the most environmentally friendly way to divert dog droppings from the landfill has led Metro Vancouver to test unusual solutions – including paying contractors to cut open every bag and taking contents to a sewage treatment plant. Parks managers are trying underground biodigestion bins and working with the University of British Columbia to determine whether worms will turn dog waste to vermicompost to use as a soil amendment for park plants. See the video!