Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The dog poop dilemma

Or, perhaps I should use the more generic "Pet poop dilemma." Dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets. They all poop. (Yes, I know, everybody poops.) And as a good environmentalist, what do you do with the poop?

Back when I was a kid in the late '60s early/'70s we had a big back yard with English ivy down the side of the yard. That's where the dogs pooped. We didn't even train them -- they just kind of knew to go over there and keep the rest of the yard clean for us kids. And the cats, well I don't know where they went, but we sure didn't have a litter box.

But now I live within the city limits, so the 2 cats are strictly indoor, and the dog can't just poop in the yard. A rather nasty fact about rats is that they just love dog poop. Ugh.

So when I walk the dog, I responsibly clean up after him when he poops in one of his favorite spots in the neighborhood, as well as when he poops in the middle of the yard. And thus begins the dilemma: What to do with the poop?

Where I live, the trash goes to a landfill. I try to be especially mindful of what I throw in the trashcan, because it's going to go sit in that landfill. So although those newspaper bags are seemingly perfect for picking up poop, when I toss that bag in the trash can it's now organic materials encased in plastic, and will take decades to break down. I've also tried using poop bags that are made out of gluten so they will break down, but the trash guys won't deal with those if they're in the big can by themselves -- they have to go into the larger kitchen trash bag when that goes out. So again, the decomposable material is wrapped in plastic.

I have read about these "Doggie Dooley" things that you put in the back yard to decompose the poop, but I don't know anyone who has one, and they're not cheap. If you use one, please let me know. I'd be curious to know what you think.

Meantime, I try to "make up" for our poop wherever I can, taking home all my lunch recyclables from work, bringing home beer bottles from a party where the hosts don't recycle (gasp!).

But the poop. What to do with the poop?


MLC said...

One is left tossing it -the poop of meat eating animals really can't be used for anything green (like fuel or fertilizer).

I was buying the recyclable individual bags too then realized I was putting them inside a larger non-degradable bag.

I'd imagine if you had container pickup they'd take the gluten bags or buy plastic bags that degrade.

I think possums eat dog poop too.


Sue J said...

I think possums eat dog poop too.

Oh, that's just lovely.

Me said...

I'm surprised that your garbage pick-up won't take them when they're in the larger can. Ours does. I don't know why they wouldn't. Don't they just pick up the can and dump it?

But, seeing as your trash collectors are picky (who'da thunk?) I have 2 possible suggestions:

1. You could pick it up and dump it in the toilet and flush it,


2. You could burry it.

I'm silently thanking my garbage collectors!