The least glamorous part about owning a pet is disposing of pet waste properly.
However, what is the proper way to dispose of pet waste?
You can flush it, bury it, or make it into compost. Each method has its pros and cons, but some are more environmentally friendly than the rest.
How to Dispose of Pet Waste
Not much can be done with pet waste other than finding eco-friendly ways to dispose of it.
Pet waste, including that of dogs and cats, contains lots of bacteria.
Research shows that a single gram of dog waste may contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria.
If not disposed of properly, these bacteria can bring diseases and illnesses to humans. Here are the different ways you can dispose of pet waste:
If you own a pet, you may try to save every newspaper, produce, or plastic grocery bag in hopes of using it to scoop up pet waste.
Using bags is one of the most convenient options when you have taken your dog to the park, and it ends up pooping.
Bags do not weigh much, making them super travel-friendly. Moreover, they can easily be thrown into the closest garbage can, making your job easier.
While the bagging method helps pet owners hold on to plastic bags longer, it is not the best eco-friendly option out there.
These bags pollute the environment, clog landfills, and take 1,000 years to decompose.
When the process of decomposition finally begins, the plastic bags leave microfibers in the environment that pollute the ocean.
Instead, find a plastic recycling facility near your home so that old plastic bags can be turned into plastic lumber.
Use It As Fertilizer
Now, we do not mean that you can use cat or dog waste as fertilizer. However, if you own chickens or cows, you can definitely use their waste to make fertilizer for your backyard.
Usually, manure helps vegetation grow and is then used to ensure nutrients reach the soil. However, dog and cat waste contain a lot of acids.
If you choose to use it as fertilizer, you will find an unexpected landmine on your front lawn, and we assure you that is not good news.
Dog waste can cause the grass to get burned or can change its color to brown as well. Moreover, it is loaded with bad bacteria that you really do not want in your soil.
Imagine walking barefoot in your yard while diseases and bacteria grow within.
Burying Pet Waste or Decomposing it
If you are looking to dispose of pet waste, you can compost it. However, this cannot be done in any random compost bin.
You will have to create a different composting system that is made using carbon and nitrogen-rich materials.
If you are looking for more details on how to make this system at home, click here.
Of course, if you are not a DIY person, you can always purchase a canine waste disposal system.
This is a small septic tank that can be buried in your backyard. It uses water and powdered enzymes to function well.
If you are looking for a less complicated method, all you have to do is dig a hole that is at least six inches deep and bury the pet waste.
Of course, it will require more time on your part as you will have to regularly dig around your yard.
It may even affect the aesthetic, but at least you will be able to dispose of pet waste properly.
You can bury pet waste or decompose it- the choice is yours. However, you must ensure that it is kept away from edible gardens.
You should also be 100 percent sure that your pet is not sick before you bury its waste in your garden.
Pet waste can contain diseases and worms, which can destroy your garden if you are not careful.
According to a four-year study, it was found that compost piles at home did not manage to destroy dangerous pathogens such as salmonella and E.coli, making this method dangerous.
Moreover, when buried in soil, roundworms can live for up to four years.
Plastic bags, waste bins, and compost are common options when it comes to disposing of pet waste. A less common option is worm farming.
Even though you may not have heard of it, it is one of the best ways to get rid of pet waste.
There are lots of things that worms will happily eat that you may not be fond of. Worms can consume potato peels, apple cores, orange peels, and animal waste.
Worms can easily eat the waste and get rid of any lingering smell.
Once the worms have done their part, the pet waste can be used as fertilizer. However, we recommend only using it for non-edible plant beds.
According to Wormtec, high carbon should be provided with animal waste and food. You can use leaves and newspapers to deal with the intensity of nitrogen.
Worm farming sounds like a great way to get rid of pet waste, as well as other kinds of waste that you struggle to dispose of properly.
Compostable and Biodegradable Bags
Are you a pet owner who does not want to carry a shovel everywhere they go just to dispose of pet waste?
Don’t worry, biodegradable bags are your next best option. Not only are they great for the environment, but they are also as convenient as plastic bags to carry.
Compostable and biodegradable bags can be found in almost all pet stores. They are made with corn or petroleum and contain microorganisms that decompose in approximately a year.
However, when shopping for eco-friendly bags, keep in mind that the term “biodegradable” does not have a legal definition. It is used as a marketing strategy to increase sales.
In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission made manufacturers and marketers aware of the 20 dog waste bags that had labeled their products as “biodegradable,” but they were plastic.
Another 2019 study pointed out that some “biodegradable” bags did not decompose for three years or more.
Moreover, you should be aware of the difference between compostable and biodegradable bags.
Biodegradable bags can be made out of plastic which dissolves quickly, which means that they don’t lower microplastic pollution.
On the other hand, compostable bags are made with natural plant starch. This ensures that these bags are not toxic. While many dog owners find compostable bags more expensive, they are worth the purchase.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the best way to dispose of pet waste is to flush it.
When you flush your toilet, the water travels to a sewage treatment that gets rid of 90 percent of the pollutants before the water is carried to a stream or river.
Flushing pet waste is one of the best ways to dispose of it. Not only is it safe, but it is also the most eco-friendly option available.
You can also find water-soluble bags made of polyvinyl alcohol film that can directly be flushed.
This film is meant to dissolve in water instantly, while the other contents of the bag decompose within 30 days.
Of course, you should not put wet contents into the bag. Moreover, if your plumbing system is not top-notch, we would not recommend this method.
The best way to ensure that you do not get in trouble is by checking with your sewage treatment center to ensure that it can deal with the pathogens found in pet waste.
Moreover, those with septic systems should not use this method as the ash and hair found in pet waste can destroy them.
Also read: Are Cat Food Cans Recyclable?
There are lots of conventional ways to dispose of pet waste. However, innovative ideas have taken the world by storm and continue to challenge conventional beliefs.
Compost piles and worm farms are relatively new ways to get rid of animal waste, but there is another way that drew our attention.
Biogas street lamps were invented by Brian Harper in 2018. The retired engineer formed a system so that dog walkers could make use of free paper to scoop up dog waste and feed it into a bin.
The bin would then feed it into a bio-digester. The microbes present in this would produce methane, which would be used as stored energy for power street lamps at night.
As you can see, there are loads of ways to dispose of animal waste. All you have to do is find what works best for you and the environment.
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