Composting: A Green Alternative To The Plastic Dog Poop Bag

Responsible woman cleaning up the sidewalk in London, Notting Hill.

(Picture Credit: LeoPatrizi/Getty Images)

Dog poop is never a walk in the park to clean up. But as responsible dog owners, it’s our job to make sure that we don’t leave a mark. Sadly, the very way dog poop is usually disposed of can have an impact on the environment. One solution to this problem might be composting, which turns fecal matter into fertilizer.

With more than 900 million dogs around the world–89.7 million of which are in the U.S.–dog poop can come by the tons. That amount of canine feces can bring many diseases including roundworm, E.coli, campylobacter, and tapeworm. Not only that, it contributes to waste in groundwater and landfills, along with pollution from plastic bags used to dispose of poop.

Composting is a good solution, but it needs to be differentiated from the usual burying. In reality, composting dog poop requires a lot of thought, such as where to bury the feces, what other components are included in the mix, and how it benefits the earth. One dog park in New York is on board with the composting craze and encourages dog owners to get in on the action.

New York Dog Park Gets Proactive About Composting

People might assume that composting is harmful because involves mixing fecal material with the earth. However, there is a proper procedure to follow that New York’s East River State Park is already starting. This progressive dog park offers solutions for dog poop composting by placing two compost bins in the park. Dog owners can even use the provided scoopers and brown paper bags so they can dispose of their pets’ waste properly.

Park authorities will use sawdust to safely compost dog waste. After this, the compost will be used in the park’s garden. Regional director of state parks, Leslie Wright, said that this is a nice innovation that turns something unwanted into something beneficial for the environment.

If you’re interested in starting such a program at your dog’s favorite park, contact your local government’s department of parks and recreation. Propose that they look into a composting program. Get your friends and neighbors to support the issue. Spread the word on social media. It can’t happen without your support and activism.

Dog Poop–An Environmental Threat

In small amounts, feces in general is not harmful to the environment. But now, overpopulation has caused dog poop–and even human feces–to become a bigger problem. What could just naturally decompose in the soil with microbes, before, now comes in vast amounts that cannot be fully controlled and balanced by the earth. It doesn’t help that much of our soil’s composition has changed due to human activities and developments.

Dog poop is made of different undigested food portions, like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. These are all mixed with the bacteria in dogs’ guts, and sometimes there are microbes and worms in feces that can cause diseases.

Carelessly throwing away dog poop, even in trash bags, can infect waterways. Since these are connected to sources of water, there is a chance other living beings, and even humans, may come in contact with them. Dog poop wrapped in plastic bags can cause other types of pollution, such as adding to landfills or suffocating wildlife.

With that in mind, it’s important for dog owners to find greener alternatives when disposing of dog waste. If you worry about the impact your dog’s poop has on the environment, look into composting. There are several videos, like the one above, and tutorials online that can explain the benefits and process for composting. They’ll help get you started.

Are you willing to make adjustments in throwing away your dog’s feces through compost? Let us know your thoughts about composting dog poop in the comments below!

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