In an era when landfills are piling up, household trash is being looked at through a new set of “green” eyes. Learning how to compost pet waste and kitchen scraps, feels like a natural answer to many of today’s waste related problems. In addition to re-purposing materials that would otherwise go to waste, compost is often great for your garden as its nutrients add value to your soil. All of this is true – except when it comes to pet waste!
A common misconception surrounding pet waste disposal is that the best way to deal with pet waste is to simply collect and compost it for use in your flower or vegetable garden. Dog owners take note: This is not true. So why can’t you compost dog waste? The truth is, you can. It just takes a lot more time, effort and safety measures than the common home compost system is ready to take on. In a world where creative recycling and re-purposing companies are popping up daily, very few professional upcyclers are ready to take on this task.
In order to compost dog waste, the heap must exceed 165 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately five days to safely sterilize the manure. Very few compost systems are set up in a manner able to deal with such strict regulations. Even if they were ready to take on the challenge, it would still be inadvisable to use the waste as fertilizer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dog waste – composted or otherwise – should never be used on crops grown for human consumption.
Dog waste carries disease-causing bacteria that can be transmitted directly to humans and make them sick. Ringworm, roundworm, salmonella and giardia are examples of such bacteria, all of which are found in dog feces and are easily transferable upon contact. In fact, pet waste can be downright toxic.
Pet waste should always be picked up and removed from your property on a regular basis. DoodyCalls recommends scooping waste into a trash bag, then double-wrapping it with another bag and placing in the garbage to be collected and taken to the landfill. However, you should check to make sure this method of disposal is in accordance with local laws and regulations.
If you do follow the bag and garbage method, be sure to double bag the waste and tie knots at the top of both bags to ensure the waste is properly sealed. This is mainly to protect garbage collectors from coming into contact with the waste upon pickup.
For those who prefer to wash their hands clean of the entire cleanup business, local pet waste removal services will gladly handle all of the messy work for you, including the proper removal of accumulated waste heaps.