For us city dwellers especially, discarding our dogs’ waste doesn’t inspire much thought; we take the doggy bag, pick it all up, and throw it in the nearest trash bin. However, the aspiring eco-conscious may be encouraged to think critically about this method. Dog waste often ends up in landfills, and when combined with the trash bag, even biodegradable poop bags can take ages to decompose. From recycled baggies to flushing it down the toilet, there are a number of different options for disposing of waste. However, before we start, let’s cover some of the things you SHOULDN’T do:
DON’T Throw it in the Trash
Don’t throw dog poo in that green bin, and definitely don’t throw it down the garbage chute of your building. The fecal matter will likely end up in a landfill, which means very little decomposition. It can also end up on other items in the trash, meaning bacteria can spread faster and further.
DON’T Compost it (without precautions)
Puppy waste typically contains pathogens that can actually harm you, which is why you should wash your hands immediately after you deal with any animal waste. This also means that you definitely don’t want this stuff in your regular home compost, which you might be used for edible plants. If you’re set on composting your dog’s waste, however, you can always make your own pet-friendly composting bin, or buy an in-ground dog waste disposal, which could always be used as fertilizer for decorative flowers and plants.
DO Flush it
If your dog uses toilet pads, this might be a very easy option. Simply pick up the pad and gently guide the waste into the toilet. Then, dispose of the pad. If you’re looking to make a switch, try using eco-friendly wee-wee pads like these.
If your dog goes outside, you can also use flushable doggie bags (like the ones listed below).
DO Bury it
If you live in a rural area and have a lot of land, a great option is to dig approximately five inches down into the ground, place the waste in the hole, and then cover it up. This ensures little-to-no spreading of fecal matter and the quickest decomposition time. It goes without saying that you probably want to bury it far enough that you won’t smell it!
(Be Like Denny)
DO Use eco-friendly waste bags
Eco-friendly doggie bags are a great option for those frequently outside on roads or sidewalks. There are a number of different types of bags, ranging in environmental impact and ease of use. You’ll find some of our favorites below.
Now onto what products can help you be the best dog parent and help the planet while doing it.
BioBag Waste Bags
Price: $27.55 for 300 bags
These bags are made of plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers, which have been turned into a resin. They can be composted in facilities and also meet the specifications for plastics labeled as aerobically compostable. They are also very thick, so they’re good for bigger dogs.
These bags meet the ASTM D6400 guidelines for aerobic composting, meaning they can be brought to municipal and industrial facilities. They are vegetable-based, leak-proof, and unscented for those super sniffers. They can also be put into bag holders, and the roller that holds the bags is even made from recycled materials.
These ASTM D6400-compliant bags are made of cornstarch and can also be composted at home. ZPAW claims that they will decompose in 90 days, but are strong enough to work with larger dogs. These are also unscented and are formed into an easy-to-grab roll.
If you’re looking for pretty bags, PET N PET is the way to go. They come in three cute colors (blue, pink, and green) and also offer lavender-scented or unscented bags. They meet ASTM D6954 standards and fit perfectly in your regular ol’ bag dispenser.
Finally, a doggie bag you can flush away (except into a septic tank). They are made of PVA, meaning they degrade in water and are compostable, so you can feel really good forgetting about it. Customers say that they learned to remove the knot, resulting in fewer air pockets and easier disintegration.