America puts 140 million tons of waste into landfill every single year, including more than 30 million tons of organic and food waste that could be disposed of another way. When you bag up your dog’s poop and put it in the trash, or dog waste bins in your community, then it will end up being sent to landfill. Bagging and binning your dog poop isn’t the only way of dealing with it however, you can considerately and ethically dispose of dog poop in a sustainable way that isn’t going to harm the planet. Even taking responsibility for this small change can help to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the ground.

What’s wrong with landfill?

For every ton of biodegradable waste that ends up buried, 400-500 cubic meters of landfill gas are produced. This gas is 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. These gases are partially responsible for climate change. This is why the government has the goal to reduce waste by 50% in the next ten years. With 2,000 landfill sites across America, there are considerable levels of toxic chemicals being released into the soil. This will ultimately affect the quality of the water that we drink, and prove fatal for plants and wildlife. As responsible pet owners, it is important that we do our utmost to prevent this from happening. It is also worth noting that if the plastic bags that you are using to pick up dog poop aren’t biodegradable, it could take up to 500 years for them to decompose.

Composting dog poop

You shouldn’t put dog poop into your ordinary garden waste composting bin, but it can still be composted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends using a separate composting system that uses carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials. You should only ever compost dog poop if your dog is healthy and free from disease, in particular, worms. Roundworms have been shown to survive up to four years, even when they are buried in soil. When dog poop has been properly composted, it can be used to improve the condition of your garden soil.

Flushing dog poop

Many people don’t consider flushing dog poop, however the Environmental Protection Agency says that it is the most environmentally-friendly way of disposing of it. The dog poop will then go into the sewage treatment system. All you need to do is scoop the poop up from your backyard and pop it into your toilet. You can actually buy dog poop bags that are water-soluble too - they are specifically designed to be flushed. The bags are made from a polyvinyl alcohol film that will dissolve in a month.

Picking up your dog’s poop is important, but so is disposing of it in a sustainable way that isn’t going to harm the environment. Flushing it or composting it is far better than the dog poop ending up in landfill.