Halifax to pilot dog waste compost program at a local park

Halifax – which already collects pet waste as part of its residential green bin program – will be trying something new according new in 2021.

The details are still being worked out, but a dog waste composting pilot project scuttled by the pandemic could soon move ahead as more people — and more dog poop — fill local trails and parks.

“We are going to try a trial hopefully at some point this year. COVID’s been a bit of a challenge there,” Kirk Symonds, team lead-education and program delivery with HRM Solid Waste Resources, said in an interview.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to take a park somewhere in HRM and we’re going to set up bins that are specifically for dog feces, and that’s going to make it easier for us to actually compost it.”

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Before initiating pet waste composting pilot programs, the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board commissioned a study to ensure viability and safety. Here is a summary.

“Evaluation of cat litter and dog feces (CLDF) as compost feedstock reveals that this material is suitable. It does not contain excessive sodium, contains low levels of plant nutrients and contributes beneficially to the water holding capacity of compost. Current pathogen standards can be met for CLDF composting if required temperatures are achieved. Pharmaceutical residue issues in CLDF are similar to those for biosolids and animal manure composting which greatly reduce their concentrations. There are no compelling reasons to not compost CLDF based on the chemical and biological aspects of the material.

“A consideration of current practices in Nova Scotia reveals that the one facility that does compost CLDF has encountered no problems associated with processing it or meeting pathogen standards”