“Holy crap! Dogs in the United States produce enough waste to fill 109 football fields 10 feet deep every year!

“Holy crap! Dogs in the United States produce enough waste to fill 109 football fields 10 feet deep every year!

And I imagine that we’re producing our fair share and then some in Boulder County, which has tens of thousands of dog owners.”

Read Kathleen Thumes’ article in The Lyons Recorder about EnviroWagg’s work composting dog waste in Colorado’s Boulder County, the need for standardized guidelines for recycling pet waste and the difference between “biodegradable” and “compostable” pick-up bags.

#GotPoop: B.C. cities get creative

Red garbage dog waste recycling bins have become more common in municipalities across the British Columbia Lower Mainland in recent years, diverting tons of waste from landfills. But North Vancouver’s is arguably the catchiest approach, with its own dog-waste diversion social media hashtag — #GotPoop — as well as signage and a web page for what the municipality calls “the Poo Fairy.”

The city recently tweeted about a new online tool to find one of the roughly 30 bright red bins they’ve dropped in locations across the North Shore municipality. In a tweet that included the city’s own social media hashtag dedicated to the topic, it said the map could be used on residents’ phones to find where to stash their bagged doo.

Read more at The Star.

Australian city invests in keeping dog waste out of landfills

If they can do it, why not US? City of Cockburn Waste Education officer Nicki Ledger said new compostable bags that will be installed at city parks will be less damaging to the environment as they were likely to break down quickly if they ended up in local waterways, not crumble into tiny pieces of plastic like the ‘degradable’ or ‘biodegradable’ bags.

Miss Ledger said the bags were certified compostable meaning they break down completely in the industrial composters at the Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale. “They’re also compostable to AS5810 for home composting systems so they will break down in backyard composters,” she said.

Full story

CMC senior builds pet waste composter for shelter

Ramsey Bond dearly loves her dog, Summit, but she is all too familiar with the “back end” of dog ownership. In preparing to earn her bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies at Colorado Mountain College, Bond took that “back end” challenge head-on through animal waste composting.

As part of her capstone project, Bond teamed up with the Colorado Animal Rescue shelter (CARE) in Spring Valley, which is adjacent to the college’s veterinary technology farm, to build an outdoor animal waste composting system. The three-bin composter is converting a mixture of the shelter’s animal waste and a local woodworker’s sawdust into composted soil that’s safe for lawns, shrubbery and flower gardens.

“They really wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “It went along with their mission of helping animals go back into the community. Now we can use the waste to keep their landscaping healthy.”

Over the years, CARE has worked to increase its sustainability by recycling, using wood pellets for cat litter and installing solar panels for electricity, said the shelter’s executive director, Wes Boyd. “This is our next addition for sustainability, and we really appreciate it,” he said.

With the new composting system, shelter staffers collect waste through the day in a heavy-duty plastic bucket with a screw-top lid, and empty it into the outdoor compost bin at the end of the day. Bond built the three side-by-side composting bins in an enclosed area on the warm south side of the shelter building. Fellow student Aaron Anderson, president of the CMC Sustainability Club, helped with clearing a space within the enclosed area and with building the bins.

They used scavenged shipping pallets for the framework and attached scrounged one-inch wire mesh on the sides to keep the composting material in and critters out. The bin lids are topped with corrugated sheet metal, which was donated and cut to fit by Umbrella Roofing Co. Near the bins, Bond placed two large plastic trash barrels with lids, each full of sweet-smelling sawdust. It’s provided by Daniel Oldenburg at Summit Construction, and is another waste byproduct that previously went to the landfill. A few scoops of sawdust go in on top of each day’s waste.

The new CARE composter is based on a three-stage system developed and tested in other communities: building, working and curing. The first bin already has a growing pile of animal waste and sawdust. Even on a recent warm spring day, there was no odor. Once the pile is about three feet high, the label on this “building” bin will switch to become a “working” bin, and the CARE staff will start piling new waste and sawdust in a new “building” bin.

The staff adds water, aiming for the pile to be damp from top to bottom. Using a long-stemmed thermometer, they monitor the pile’s core temperature. Natural composting heats the pile to about 150 to 160 degrees, which helps to kill off pathogens and parasites that might be present in animal waste, Bond said. As it cools down, students use a pitchfork to turn the pile.

The heating, cooling and turning process happens three or four times over several weeks, until the pile no longer heats up. At that point, the “working” bin shifts to the “curing” stage. The composted waste sits, exposed to the weather, for several more months. After about a year, Bond said, it will be ready for use in landscaping. Bond has graduated but continues to volunteer with CARE, monitoring how the system is progressing.

Keep up to date with the project via Instagram purplepoopail.

Photo caption: Ramsey Bond explains the new animal waste composter to Wes Boyd. Bond was able to incorporate the composter into her own studies and to those of her sustainability classmates. Photo ©Hannah Johnson (CMC professional photography student)

Article provided by Debbie Crawford, Colorado Mountain College public information officer, Central Services

Cities taking the lead in pet waste recycling

Airdrie, a city of just over 61,500 north of Calgary, Alberta, has announced that residents can now put pet waste in their green organics carts.

“When we introduced [the organics program] in 2014, this was basically something residents wanted from the get-go,” said Susan Grim, Team Leader for Waste and Recycling.

“So, in our recent contract, we negotiated to make sure that the new processor will have pet waste on the accepted materials list.”

On Thurs., March 29, the City of Airdrie posted the announcement to their Facebook page, and it was met with much excitement and gratitude from citizens.

Read more.

Ottawa says “yes” to dog poo composting

A new  contract between the city and its waste hauler, Orgaworld, would include provisions for including dog waste and plastic in its residential green bin program. Items included in green bins are diverted from the landfill and streamed to the company’s compost site. The agreement states that diapers will still be sent to the dump. But that possibly doesn’t align with provincial plans, with Ontario eyeing a move to get diapers out of the regular waste stream as early as 2022. Read the full story.

It’s not nuclear waste, guys!

Waste management companies have been playing hot potato with pet waste for decades. Agencies can’t agree on what to do with it. these organics are in the Twilight Zone of disposal management. Some conscientious government entities, companies and individuals, many mentioned at this site, are experimenting with their own solutions. Why is everyone worried about cigarette butts and plastic straws when we’re staring at a mountain of pet poo?

With 83 million dogs and 96 million cats in the U.S. alone, pet waste is a serious problem, polluting land and waterways and contributing upwards of 10 million tons of material to landfills every year. For years we’ve been told not to recycle dog and cat waste. But the fact is that, with due diligence, there are many ways to take your pet to near zero waste by diverting his or her waste from landfills.

Now you can significantly reduce household waste by recycling your pet’s waste via The Pet Poo Guide: How to Compost and Recycle Pet Wastea must-read for pet owners concerned about the environmental impact of their best friend. This book offers step-by-step instructions for eight ways to recycle and practical advice on choosing which one is the best solution for you.

Are you ready to nudge your pets much, much closer to net zero waste?  Order your copy of the Guide today!

Nova Scotia cat litter can go in green compost bin

Cat owners served by Valley Waste Resource Management (VWRM) in Nova Scotia now have the option of putting used kitty litter in the green compost bin. They’ve been composting kitty litter in Colchester County for approximately a decade and Pictou County began doing so last year,” said VWRM communications manager Andrew Garrett.

Landfills are very expensive, use a lot of space and “they never go away.” Taking kitty litter out of landfills moves the material up on the so-called “waste hierarchy,” turning it into a resource as compost as opposed to a disposal item.

Here’s the scoop.

Dog poo powers Malvern Hills street lamp

Dog walkers on the Malvern Hills in the U.K. are being encouraged to drop the waste into an anaerobic digester that converts it into methane to fuel a strategically placed lamp.”There must be a way of trying to give dog poo a value so people would do something sensible with it,” said creator Brian Harper. Two bags of dog poop lights a beautiful landscape for two hours. Here’s the scoop.

Today US dogs produce more waste than humans did in 1959

Much of the 11 million tons of dog waste generated in the U.S. each year is trashed and streamed to lined and sealed landfills. The rest is left on the ground as a potential pollutant, particularly in urban areas.

The average dog poops more per day than the average person. Throw in the tons of plastic we use in a foolhardy attempt to sanitize this absurd process.

Add it up and you find that today U.S. dogs generate more solid waste than the U.S. human population in 1959. Can you imagine an advanced country in 1959 not providing a practical sanitary disposal system that works for its 178 million people? We have a hard time wrapping our heads around that one and hope you do, too.

Sources

1959 human population
U.S. Census Bureau, 177,8 million

2016 dog population
U.S. Humane Society, 83 million

Pet waste quantities
Average dog produces .75 lb. of waste per day (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)

Human waste quantities

On average humans excrete 128 g (.28 lb.) of fresh feces per person per day – Rose, C.; Parker, A.; Jefferson, B.; Cartmell, E. (2015). “The Characterization of Feces and Urine: A Review of the Literature to Inform Advanced Treatment Technology,” 3.1

Dog waste vs. human waste

.28 lbs. human waste per day vs. .75 ave. dog waste per day

2016 U.S. dogs

83 million dogs x .75 lb. waste per day = total 62,250,000 lb. waste per day ÷ 2,000 = 31,215 tons per day
31,215 tons per day x 365 days = 11.4 tons dog waste per year

1959 U.S. humans

177.8 million humans x .28 lb. waste per day = total 49,784,000 lb. per day ÷ 2,000 = 24,900 tons per day
24,900 tons per day x 365 days = 9 million tons per year