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Disposing of Dog Poop the Green Way

If you have a furry friend at home, chances are that you’ve had your fair share of unpleasant clean-ups after your dog has done their “business” - whether you’re on walks around the block, at a dog park, or even in your backyard.

But something as natural as dog (or cat) poop - that breaks down by itself over a few months - the truth is that there are still many owners that use conventional plastic dog bags to pick up after their dog and throw them away in the rubbish bin, which end up in landfills. 

It's important to bin your pet's poo
and it's the law!

From there, it often takes at least hundreds of years for plastic dog poop bags to fully break down.

In addition to this, local governments and councils in Australia have rolled out a food and green organic bin (also known as FOGO), which has raised the hot question of whether dog and cat poop can be disposed of in the kerbside green bin or home compost bin. 

In summary, the issue is a bit more complex for the following reasons:

1. It is recommended that dog and cat poop is NOT disposed of in a home compost bin.

2. Most councils won’t accept compostable plastic packaging (including dog poop bags).

3. If your council does accept pet poop, make sure they also accept compostable plastic packaging.

Why can’t dog and cat poop be disposed of in a home compost?

Dog and cat poop, known as pet waste, is high in phosphorus and nitrogen, as they are both ‘meat eaters’. It is recommended that pet poop doesn't go in a home compost for the following reasons:

✔️ If your pet has just been wormed, their poop will kill your compost worms.

✔️ You may not know if your pet has a disease or illness as they may not be showing any symptoms, and poop could contaminate the compost.

✔️ Pet poop should not be used on vegetables or plants that are consumed by humans as pet waste contains any number of pathogens which can harm us.

✔️ Cat poo can contain toxoplasmosis which can cause birth defects.

Home composts need to be consistently at 50-60 degrees, to kill off any pathogens in the pet waste.

Why won’t councils accept pet poop in a green bin?

Most councils do not accept pet poop for the following reasons:

Same reasons why it can't be disposed of in a home compost (mentioned above):
  • Depends on what council you belong to across the country.
  • Depends on the council’s commercial compost contractor, and if the contractor supplies compost to farmers growing food crops or not. In most cases the commercial compost contractor will supply compost to farmers growing food crops, which in that case will not accept compost contaminated with pet waste.

So what’s the logical and greener alternative to disposing of dog and cat poop?

We’ll go through two easy and greener ways of disposing dog and cat poop - both of which are better for the environment and aren’t at the expense of your convenience!

Option 1 - Compost your pet poop at home with home compostable pet poop bags

Instead of throwing away your pet poop into your rubbish bin, you can collect and compost your pet poop in a separate pet poop compost system to create a natural fertiliser!

By setting up a pet poop compost at home, you can also use home compostable dog poop bags - like those available at Biogone - while picking up after your dog on walks or trips and then dispose of them in your compost bin at home. Easy and no dramas!

Before you start making a pet compost bin in your backyard, make sure you do the following:

● Add your pet waste to grass clippings, plants or other organic waste. You can even add sawdust, as it helps with the decomposing process.

● Ensure there aren’t any holes or the lid is not properly sealed as composting requires a sealed environment where temperatures may reach 50-60 degrees (ideal for natural decomposition)

How to make a DIY pet poo composter

Make your very own pet poo compost bin at home by following this step-by-step guide below:

1. Grab a large plastic drum or bucket (with a lid).

2. Dig a hole in your backyard that’s large enough to fit the bucket - only leaving a few centimetres at the top above ground.

3. Using a saw, remove the base of the bucket. You can also use a drill.

4. Drill many holes on the side of the bucket. These holes will be how worms in the soil can enter your DIY pet poo composting bin. 

Important note: Leave a few inches from the top where your bucket will be above the ground - it won’t be as effective if there are holes at the top.

5. Place your bin into the hole and add in a layer of small rocks or sand for drainage. On top of that layer, add in dirt or soil as well as a bit of water to dampen.

6. Put the lid back on the bucket and you’re done!

Alternatively, there are specific pet poo compost bins that you can purchase online that’ll do the trick as well!

Option 2 - Use landfill biodegradable or home compostable pet poop bags

If you don’t have a backyard or just don’t have the option to have your own pet waste composting bin at home, the next best convenient and plastic smart solution to disposing of pet poop is by using landfill biodegradable or home compostable dog poop bags.

What is landfill-biodegradable?

This technology relatively new to Australia however it is currently being used across 25 countries. The dog waste bags are made by combining traditional plastic with a patented organic additive. Once disposed of to landfill, this makes the dog waste bags:

✔️ Biodegrade approximately 90% faster than conventional plastics.
✔️ Biodegrades to a humus-like material (organic matter) which is a natural plant fertiliser and a biogas.
✔️ Do not fragment to microplastics.

Compared to regular pet waste bags that can take up to hundreds of years to fully decompose, Biogone’s landfill-biodegradable dog poop bags have been designed to fully biodegrade in only a few years and home compostable dog poop bags within a couple of months.

Also, the methane produced from faster biodegradation can be captured within the timeframe the landfill is actively managed, rather than being released into the atmosphere over hundreds of years after the landfill has closed and stopped being managed. This methane captured can be used for fuel and energy production (waste to energy).

In summary, using pet compost waste bins as well as home compostable dog poop bags is the ideal way to divert your pooch’s leave-behinds away from landfills - and ultimately reduce our growing landfill waste problem.

But if that isn’t an option, you can always rely on landfill-biodegradable or home compostable dog poop bags so you can still make plastic smart decisions, whenever you’re picking up after your four-legged friend.

If you’d like to learn more, check out the home compostable and landfill-biodegradable range of Biogone dog products.


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