SUMMARY: A practical use for dog waste.Some of you may know that I am a Master Composter for the County of Santa Clara. Means, yes, I teach occasional workshops on backyard composting, and, yes, ask me questions about yard waste and composting and voila I answer. Usually.
I just don't have really good answers about what to do with doggie droppings. Here are some answers, none of which are completely satisfactory (depending on where you live and your resources):
- If it's Tika's, pick it up quickly or Boost will either roll in it or eat it. (I know you wanted to know.)
- Don't compost it in your yard waste compost bin--same reason you don't want to compost human waste: Carnivore/omnivore waste contains pathogens that aren't easily destroyed. So the poop might go away but not necessarily the nasty bits, and if you're putting it all into one place, it might concentrate that, and if you're using the compost for your food garden--well--I wouldn't put dog poop in it.
- That said: It is organic matter and it will decompose. I've heard from many people that Just Do It: Put it in the compost and don't worry about it.
- If your yard is large enough, let it decompose where it is or off to the side somewhere; Ma Nature is very good at dealing with that sort of thing.
- There are doggie doo digesters; Basically a plastic bin with no bottom that you bury in the ground and add the appropriate digester enzymes and water. I tried one for about 3 years and it never worked properly for me. A neighbor in my new neighborhood had no luck with one, either. I have read about them working for others.
- There is another commercial product that claims to handle dog waste. They made a presentation at a Master Composter meeting and it was all hype, not hard info, and they weren't willing to let the composters have one to test it. Don't remember its name. Seems extremely dubious.
- Add a direct sewer connection and shovel it into that.
- Dump it into your toilet.
- Hire a dog poo service and let them deal with it.
- Bag it and toss it in the trash. (That's what I now do. I've been told that some municipalities prohibit that.)
But now here's a very cool idea for places that have larger amounts of dog waste: A digester that produces and uses methane on location!
Would be interesting to know how much input it requires to provide useful amounts of output. As of yet, it's just a demo; no commercial models are available. But what a great idea!