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Dog Poo Composter

Thursday, October 15, 2009

As with any dog, what goes in, must come out. Yes, we're talking dog poop, and how to dispose of it.

"People obviously love their dogs," says Mike Levenston at City Farmer, Vancouver (Canada), "but it's a big problem worldwide. You can see people picking up after their dog, and then wondering what do with it."

"In the city," Mike said, "Garbage collectors don't want dog waste to go into the truck because it gets messy and the bags explode. The sewage people don't want it down the toilet because it has a lot of grit on it and mucks it up. So there's really nothing environmental that you can do."

The solution, says Mike, is to compost dog waste in yard, using a old plastic garbage can. The folks at City Farmer developed the technique, which provides "a chance for people to have it slowly decompose in a yard and be environmentally safe."

Here's a step-by-step description:

1. Take and old garbage bin and drill a dozen or so holes in the side.
2. Cut out the bottom (A keyhole saw works great for this.)
3. Dig a hole in the ground, deep enough for the garbage can.
4. Toss some rocks or gravel in the hole for drainage and position the garbage can so it's a little higher than the soil level.
5. Place the lid on top (you might want to paint it with something like "Dog Waste Composter").
6. When you scoop some poop, put it in the hole and sprinkle in some septic starter (available at hardware stores) and add some water.

Within 48 hours, the septic tank starter, (which is non-caustic and promotes natural bacterial growth) will have begun its work and you can add more dog poo. You can then begin to add it daily. This waste biodegrades and flows into the subsoil.

Mike adds that you should not put the composted dog waste in your garden. While burying a garbage can to compost dog waste might seem like overkill if you live in a more rural area, but when you think about it, why not contain the waste in a more environmentally-friendly manner?

Adapted version of an article written by Marion Owen

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