At TORRAIN, we are big animal lovers! Amongst our team members, we have two kitties and a little dog. We’re sure we’ll eventually add more animals into our lives because there's always room for more, right!? Right.
If you have animals, you know how much poop they can produce! In the United States alone, dogs produce nearly 10.6 tons of poop every year. When you add in the waste from the nearly 90 million cats, you have enough pet waste to fill 5,000 football fields, 10 feet deep each. That’s a lot of poo! So what to do with all that poo?
Because of the amount of dog poo that has piled up, a whole industry of biodegradable bags has been created. The problem with the biodegradable bags, though, is that the bags are meant to be composted. However, you can not compost animal poop in food and yard scrap compost. Because of the microbes and pathogens in animal poop, it is not safe for human consumption. The problem with throwing a biodegradable bag filled with poo into the landfill, is that it is more likely to degrade than a traditional plastic bag. Jack Macy, a commercial zero waste coordinator for San Francisco’s Department of Environment states, "Anything that goes into the landfill and degrades is worse than something that goes in and doesn't.” The compostable bag that degrades in a landfill, would start producing methane, a greenhouse gas.
We currently think of poop as waste, however a more progressive way of thinking would be to think of it as a resource - a compostable resource! Unfortunately most industrial city compost companies don’t have the correct resources to compost animal poop.
So what are your options? A home compost is one! With a bit of effort, you can have your very own dog poop compost in your backyard! Here is a link to a great resource.
If you are in the Portland area, another amazing resource is Green Pet Compost Company. Sign up on the website and each week (the day depends on your neighborhood) they will come pick up your animal poop and compost it for you! It's just as easy as having your garbage picked up. The company even offers an option to pick up the poop in your yard FOR YOU!
Composted dog poop cannot actually be used for most food, however it offers a great option for growing flowers and non edible plantscapes. Composting your animal poop is a step forward towards living a more sustainable lifestyle! We’d love to hear about your journey AND for you to share the animals in your lives with us! Please tag away in the photos you post of you and your animals! @torrainrecycledbags #defendyourturf