13 February 2008

How to be 'Green' with pet waste.

I've been reading various articles about the eco-friendly way to dispose of pet waste. With one indoor cat and a Golden Retriever, we have plenty of poop around here!

Currently, I scoop the dog waste and toss it in the trash. Sometimes in a container I'm already going to toss, sometimes loose. One article I read expressed concerns about microorganisms contaminating landfills and leaching to ground water, but I have a hard time believing that is an issue. I'm not even remotely concerned with microorganisms in the landfil, and landfills have liners don't they? We're not talking radioactive waste here, so even leaching doesn't concern me. So, that article's recommendation about double-bagging in plastic to prevent contamination seems to me to cause more harm than good because then you've forever sealed your biodegradable pet waste in non-degradable plastic!

Burrying is an option, but a Golden Retriever generates quite a bit of waste (even on high quality food) and we'd need a large hole, or several holes. We garden quite a bit, and with a moderately sized yard it would be difficult to avoid pet waste burrial sites. The "yuck" factor of having latrine holes in the backyard is a big negative to this option.

Flushing pet waste in the toilet seems reasonable, as it gets treated just like human waste at the local sewage treatment facility. But carrying the dog waste into the house to flush it seems a bit unsanitary to me. The cat's litter box is in the bathroom and I use a flushable corn-based litter, so flushing is an easy option.

For now we'll stick with scooping & tossing the dog poop and flushing or tossing the cat waste.

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