Bella Goes Green: Composting Dog Poop

Everything I had ever heard about recycling dog poop was always met with funny scrunched up faces and sounds of ick, eeyew, and claims that it can’t be done.  I wondered why, since people pay big money for sacks of cow manure and buy the zoo’s surplus elephant dung by the truckload.  Why not dog poop?  Then my Auntie Karen, who is a very smart lady, sent me something she found on the topic and it was enlightening!  Someone had asked the question “How can I recycle dog poop?” and I found a lot of really good answers!  This is a picture that Mommy took in August of 2005, in the seaport village of Warnemunde, (East) Germany on a day stop during a cruise of the Baltic countries.  It shows how dog poop is just not wanted no matter where you are!

No one wants dog poop!

I started sniffing out information on the topic of recycling dog poop and, much to my surprise, I found that there are actually dog poop composting bins designed especially to handle the stinky stuff and turn it into usable soil.  They are called Doggie Doolies and are made to be sunk into the ground and work like miniature septic tanks.  They retail for about $35 to $50, and are used with a special enzyme that breaks the poop down to a liquid that gets absorbed into the ground.  Here is what it looks like:

A dog poop composting bin

So what is the science behind this finding?  The US Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation actually conducted a dog waste study and published their findings in December of 2005 titled “Composting Dog Waste“.  The study concludes that there are some pretty pawesome benefits and I will let the readers determine what those benefits are for themselves, since the benefits do require some labor and effort to capture.  There are several designs ideas included for building your own doggie doolies, and Mommy’s favorite for simplicity and low price is the black trash can with a snap-on lid like this one:

You can make your own dog waste composting bin

The $15 plastic trash can in the photo turned out to be too big for us at 32 gallons,  so we are taking it back for a smaller one, perhaps the 20 gallon size.  You have to dig a hole in the ground, in a sunny and dry site somewhere safe considering what it is going to be used for.  Cut the bottom out of the can, and then about 12″ from the top rim drill a lot of holes in the sides so that the liquid can leach out during the composting process.  Insert the can into the hole, allowing the handles to remain above ground because later you might want to pull it up and relocate it to another spot; backfill the hole on the outside of the can with some of the dirt.  You want all the holes to be below ground level so no stinky smells can escape and ruin your garden pawties.     Here is the video that Mommy liked best:

Dog Waste Composter by Low Carbon Home

This is a project that we are going to try in our yard this year, because we have a lot of four-legged Dog Poop factories at our house, for BOL!!  We may as well put their poop to good use!



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1 Comment

  1. Hello great article! I really like this way of composting dog poop.

    I use a different way to compost dog poop for many years now that works as well very well!

    Worms convert dog poop into plant food.

    Dealing with dog waste is probably one of the things every dog owner dreads!
    There are indeed millions of nicer topics to talk about than dog waste or dog shit (sorry for using that word but it is what it is)!
    But lets face it every proud owner of a German Shepherd, Jack Russel, Husky or any other breed will have to make a plan to get rid of his or her best friends waste.
    After all dog feces can be annoying, smelly and even the cause of disease. There are a lot of bacteria in dog waste including E. coli, and salmonella.

    Probably the most common way to deal with dog waste is to send the children into the garden or backyard on a regular basis to scoop up the smelly piles and throw them into the rubbish bin.
    This way we get rid of the problem in our backyard but the animal waste would still be dumped on the municipal landfill sites and pose a threat to the communal health.

    A much better way to deal with dog waste is to use earthworms or better composting worms to convert the dog shit into nutrient rich worm castings.
    Dog shit, is in an excellent food source for earthworms. Worms don’t have teeth and can only feed on soft decomposing materials.

    We have a worm bin or as I call it a “Pet poop com-poster” in the backyard that has been running
    exclusively on dog poop for close to 9 years now.

    The worms seem to be happy and their breeding activity in those worm bins is exceptional.
    Some of the benefits of using compost worms to recycle your dog poop are:
    • No bad odors in the back yard or garden (healthy worm bins never smell)
    • Reduction of waste rotting on landfill sites
    • Constant production of worms that will recycle organic waste

    • Constant supply of fat worms for freshwater fishing
    • Constant production of worms that can be sold for extra income
    • Production of worm castings which can be used to fertilize flowers, trees and lawns, but should not be used to feed fruit and vegetables.
    To get started you first will have to buy or build a worm bin.

    Then get hold of some earth worms for breeding stock.
    The most popular worms are Eisenia Fetida worms, commonly known as compost worms, red worms or red wigglers.

    If you can’t get them, then use European Night crawlers. They will work well too.

    Depending on the size of your dogs, you should add at least 500 to 1000 worms to the worm bin.
    The bigger your worm bin the more worms you can add. Worms tend to grow bigger if they don’t feel crowded.

    If you want to find out how you can set up a worm farm to recycle dog waste follow the attached link to find all the free information you will need.

    Note: we have worked with dog waste for many years now and never had any health issues but it is a good practice to either wear rubber gloves or use a plastic bag when scooping up the dog feces.

    kind regards


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