Dog Poop Composting

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I will admit that I am not much of a gardener, but when I heard about this idea I had to explore it further.  While watching a design show on TV, a doggie daycare makeover was featured.  The space was amazing and being green was a priority.  When they toured the outdoors the space was complete with a dog poop composting area.  What a great idea! 

Why compost dog poop? 

Like all forms of animal waste, dog poop contains large amount of nutrients, including nitrates.  While these nutrients are excellent fertilizer for plants when properly rendered and utilized, they wreak havoc on natural ecosystems.  The saying that poop rolls down hill is appropriate because ultimately, the nitrates from dog poop find themselves travelling into streams, lakes and rivers.  Dog poop is responsible for cultural eutrophication, a pollution epidemic caused by excessive nitrate levels, known to cause the collapse of entire river systems.  However, the composting process reduces the nitrate levels so that dog poop can be turned into something useful instead of harmful.  Composted dog poop adds a healthy nitrate balance to the soil naturally. 

All healthy topsoil is the result of something's decomposition, be it fall leaves, dead grass or animal waste.  All the soil you see, touch and feel is a result of Mother Nature's recycling program.  The process of composing dog poop works with Mother Nature. 

Dog owner's have found that their pet's composted poop is capable of creating a sustainable, healthy and earth-friendly fertilizer for their lawns, ornamental gardens and trees. 

Here is how:

  • Buy or build a compost bin

You need something that will contain the waste, something that allows for aeration and a structure that will keep critters out.

  1. Select composting materials

Improper materials for compost can spell total failure for any compost project, much less when you are dealing with dog poop.  Dog feces requires a proper carbon source to effectively break down into healthy nutrients without compromising its structural integrity.  Apparently plain sawdust is an ideal material to use in dog poop composting.  The sawdust gives structure to the waste and adds effective odor control.  Alternatively, compostable cat litter can be used. 

  • Begin composting

Start by layering about an inch of your sawdust or litter on the bottom of the compost bin.  Each time you add raw poop to the bin, sprinkle another half-inch or inch-thick layer on top of the feces.  This neutralizes the odor and begins the process of healthy decomposition. 

  •  Aerate, Vent and Balance

When dog poop is composting properly, there should be no odor.  If there is a noticeable odor from more than 3 feet away, it is a sign that there is an improper nutrient balance.  Should this occur, the advice is to add small amounts of soil to the mix, add more sawdust or add earthworms to your compost environment. 

 

When you are close to filling your compost bin, add a thicker layer of sawdust and begin the process of aerating.  If you have built your own bin, get in there with a pitchfork and move it all around.  If you have purchased a bin, you may just simply have to spin a lever. 

  • Use your compost

Ten to eighteen months after any fecal material has been added to your bin, it is safe to say there are no parasites or their eggs alive in the compost.  According to the plan, at this point the contents of your bin should smell like fresh, loamy soil without any ammonia or fecal odor.  That means it is ready to use. 

The act of composting your dog's yard deposits is something that can keep your own garden green as well as maintaining a healthy environment.  I have wanted to try this for a few summers so hopefully I can find some time this summer to go green.  

Written by hart at 00:00
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