Where To Dispose of Dog Poop
If you have one or more pet dogs, then you need to know about disposing of dog waste at home. I mean, who wants a yard full of dog poop? Besides looking yucky and smelling nasty, pet wastes can attract flies and other insects and be a source of disease causing organisms.
It’s also a mess if you walk in the poop and track it into the house. Dog poop on your shoes or carpet is a real pain to clean.
And then there’s the fact it’s better for the environment to get rid of the dog poop. If it is left on the ground, eventually the bacteria and any disease producing organisms it contains will wash into the ground water, then into waterways like creeks and other water supplies. This contaminates the water quality.
This is especially true in urban areas with a lot of hard surfaces, because when it rains this bacteria is carried to storm sewers more quickly. It goes from there to the nearest waterway which can add to bacterial blooms and make it unsafe to swim in that water.
What to Do With Dog Poop
Obviously, the solution is to keep the dog poop picked up. Some people do it immediately after the dog produces it, and others prefer to do it periodically. If you choose the latter option, it’s a good idea to have set times for the pickup, otherwise too much time may pass before you think to do it and all of a sudden you’ve got a yard full of poop!
Where to dispose of the dog poop is the next problem. There are a few options:
- Throw it away with garbage,
- Flush the poop down the toilet,
- Poop Pit,
- Dog Poop Disposal System,
- Compost bin,
- Worm Farm.
Let’s take a look at each option and see the benefits and downsides to each.
1. Throw it away with garbage.
If you bag the poop, you can throw it away with your other garbage.
On the pro side, it’s easy. But there are some down sides to consider.
For instance, if the guys doing your garbage pickup don’t pick up the cans and up-end them to dump the trash into the garbage trucks, they likely won’t bother to pick up little bags of stuff in the can. (Trust me, that’s *exactly* what happens with the garbage collectors in my area!)
That means you need to put the bags of poop into a larger bag of garbage or the bags will just continue to set in the can. Not good. Even through a bag, it’s eventually going to smell bad.
Also, if you are reusing those plastic store bags to pick up poop, that may seem like an ecologically responsible idea until you consider that means there are a lot of bags of dog poop in the landfill in “containers” that aren’t going to biodegrade.
It’s better to send your plastic bags to a recycling center and buy biodegradable bags to pick up dog poop. Yes, it’s going to cost more, but it’s the greener solution. Plastic has become a nightmare problem on our planet, so let’s not add to it, okay?
And in the unlikely event you live in an area that doesn’t have garbage pick-up, of course that shoots down the whole idea and you’ll need to go with another option.
2. Flush the poop down the toilet.
You can flush dog wastes down the toilet, but you have to be very careful NOT to flush down any plastic bags, or a bunch of dirt or any little rocks you picked up with the poop.
Of course, if you’re picking waste up out of your yard, you can bypass the bag problem altogether and use a pooper scooper.
The pros for flushing poop is it doesn’t cost anything, but it does mean you have to carry the dog poop inside the house (and don’t drop any anywhere!) and be careful to flush nothing but the poop down the toilet or you might clog up the plumbing in your house.
And speaking of those biodegradable bags… don’t trust that they will flush without causing any issues. Sometimes they don’t dissolve quickly enough, or for whatever reason end up clogging up the pipes. If you don’t want to risk a plumbing problem, flush ONLY the poop.
3. Poop pits.
This is just what it sounds like, a pit dug in the dirt for the pet wastes.
It’s sort of like an old fashioned outhouse, only instead of the dog sitting over top of a hole, you have to pick up the poop and carry it to the pit and throw it in. 🙂
This is just an expansion on the practice of burying dog poop. Instead of digging a hole each time the dog goes to the bathroom, you dig ONE bigger hole that lasts a long time.
On the pro side, it doesn’t matter if dirt and grass get in there with the poop. It’s also a discreet way to place a kind of dog waste disposal system in your yard.
On the down side, you still don’t want to throw plastic bags into the hole. Encasing the poop in plastic will keep it from disintegrating. Biodegradable bags are fine, or just use a pooper scooper.
Another downside is having to dig that hole! If you have hard soil, it can be a tough job. If your soil is soft or sandy, sometimes it’s a little more difficult to get a hole dug and keep it from collapsing since there is no structure like a bucket to hold the walls in place. Also, at some point the pit will fill up and you will have to relocate and dig a new one.
But all that being said, it’s a simple solution that doesn’t cost anything but time and labor.
4. Dog Poop Disposal System.
With a dog poop disposal container, you are essentially building a little septic system for your pets’ wastes. You can buy a readymade system or do it yourself. Either way you are going to have to do the hard part… dig a hole to put it in.
On the pro side, a dog waste trash can buried in the yard can be a sanitary and convenient way to dispose of pet poop, and only has to be put in place once. It gets the poop composted and gone!
It’s the canine equivalent of the people’s septic system!
On the down side, there’s that whole digging a big hole thing. And the top sticking out of the ground isn’t exactly pretty, though you can cover it up with faux stone or something to enhance the looks.
It’s a once and done solution to for what to do with dog poop.
5. Composting Dog Poop.
If you’re not a gardener you might not be familiar with composting. It’s similar to using a dog poop digester, only it is done above ground.
On the plus side, it’s a great way to get rid of dog poop in a green manner. Also, if you want to get rid of leaves and other wastes, it will take care of that as well.
If done correctly, a compost pile does NOT create any bad odors.
The down side is a compost bin needs some space and it needs to be outside so if you live in an apartment or other urban environment it might not even be a possibility. It also needs vegetable matter to mix in with the poop, so you can’t just throw the poop in and be done with it.
Also, due to the albeit small possibility of passing on disease causing bacteria, many sources say you should not use the compost made with dog poop on any food producing plants.
6. Worm Farm for Dog Poop.
Yes, you can farm worms, and yes, they will eat up that dog poop. However, there does seem to be some disagreement as to whether you can put both dog poop and kitchen scraps into the same worm farm.
Some sources seem to think it’s okay, while others maintain that the worms won’t eat dog poop if there are kitchen scraps available.
Also, as with other composting solutions, most experts say it is better NOT to use the compost from a worm farm for dog poop on a vegetable garden. If you have a flower garden, that’s okay, just no dog poop infused compost on food plants.
The plus side is this is a very ecologically minded solution and even if you live in an urban area, worm farms can be placed inside a building as well as outside in the yard.
And unlike the doggie poop pit or dog waste digesters, you don’t have to dig a hole for the pit or container.
The downside to that is the worm farm is a visible part of your yard. However, there are kits that are meant to blend into the landscape, or you could put it in an out-of-the way place where it isn’t so noticeable. Just keep in mind wherever you put it you’ll need to be able to get to it when you need to dispose of poop.
Of course, if the idea of earthworms freaks you out, then maybe this isn’t the best option for you. 🙂 But most of the time you just open the lid and drop in the poop, and don’t even see the worms buried down in the dirt. Plus you can always wear gloves when working with the worm farm, and the earth worms really are most efficient little wiggly composting machines!
Choose Your Method of Disposing of Dog Waste At Home
If you have a dog, you’ll need to choose one of the above methods to dispose of the poop your pooch produces. (Unless you come up with an entirely new way that is easier and greener, and then you can share your method and get rich from your invention!)
Otherwise, choose a method and go for it! Your yard (and shoes) will thank you for it!