Is dog waste biodegradable? (9 steps to compost dog waste)

The article will explain if dog waste is biodegradable or not. Other covered aspects would include:

  • What is the best way to dispose of dog waste?
  • Can you throw dog waste in water bodies?
  • Can you throw dog waste in your garden?
  • Can you throw dog waste in trash bags?

Is dog waste biodegradable?

Yes, dog waste is biodegradable because it is natural and has organic content in it which makes the microbes able to degrade and break down the dog waste. 

In order to determine if something is biodegradable or not, it is important to know what that particular material is made up of. If the material is made from natural and organic material, it will degrade and if the material is made from non-natural material, it will not degrade by the action of microbes. 

In our case of dog waste, it is seen that dog waste usually contains nitrogen and phosphorus. It may also contain microbes such as Salmonella, E.coli et cetera. Most of these microbes can be hazardous and toxic to humans and other forms of life. 

Due to the presence of these toxic microbes, it is essential to be careful about the right disposal options because otherwise, life can be at risk of microbial contamination. 

What is the best way to dispose of dog waste?

You may think that the best way to dispose of dog waste is to pack it up in bags and throw it in regular trash cans. While this can be a good option if the packaging bags are made from biodegradable material, it is not the best way to dispose of dog waste. 

The best way to dispose of dog waste is to actually compost it. When dog waste is composted, not only it will benefit the environment as you will not need plastic bags or biodegradable bags; but also there will be various benefits of the composting process. 

The compost can be used as a natural fertiliser which can improve the soil quality and also offer other benefits such as increased yield and better water retention profiles. This can offer advantages such as water conservation and better utilisation of resources. 

Many people argue that dog waste can not be composted because of the presence of harmful and toxic microbes in the dog waste. However, this is not true. One type of composting is called hot composting where the temperature is kept as such to remove all the harmful microbes that may put lives at risk. 

Another reservation people have is that the dog waste, if composted, will lead to a bad odour and will irritate the people around. However, this is also opposed by the experts because as per the composting experts, when dog waste is composted, there is no bad smell as it is naturally perceived. 

How to compost dog waste? (9 steps) 

The next section that the article wants to cover is how dog waste can be composted. We shall cover some steps that can be followed so that dog waste may be composted at home. The steps are:

  • Select a suitable place for composting. It is preferable to go for a compost bin 
  • The place should be accessible but it should also be a bit distant from your home 
  • Make sure that the area is in dry and sunny conditions
  • Make alternate layers of dog waste (nitrogen-rich) with other carbon-rich layers (such as sawdust). 
  • Properly mix and add moisture to the heap 
  • Mix after every 4-5 days
  • The key is to turn the pile when the temperature starts to decline 
  • Once the compost is ready, utilise it well. The compost should be ready in about 7 weeks if the temperature conditions are kept optimum 

Can you throw dog waste in water bodies?

It is not advisable to throw dog waste (untreated and uncovered) in water bodies because of many reasons. 

For instance, dog waste contains harmful microbes that can put life in water at risk of contamination and health issues. This also deviates from the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030. 

Another issue that is associated with the disposal of dog waste in water bodies is that the nitrogen and phosphorus present in dog waste can alter the chemistry and biology of water bodies leading to problems such as BOD, COD, or eutrophication. 

Another indirect downside of throwing dog waste in water bodies is that when that is done, there is no benefit given to the environment which could have been the case if it were for composting. 

Is it advisable to throw dog waste in your garden?

People usually think that since dog waste is compostable and biodegradable, it is okay if they throw dog waste in their garden soil. While this may be possible, it is not advisable at all. 

This is because of many basic reasons. For example, dog waste has a strong odour which can cause problems for people living nearby. 

Also, dog waste contains several microbes that can cause harm and threat to life nearby. Also, the microbes, if left open and unseen, can cause contamination to people living nearby. The risk of groundwater contamination can also not be ignored. 

Therefore, while it may seem possible, it is not advisable to throw dog waste in your garden. The best thing to do is to compost it as has been discussed in the previous sections. 

Can you throw dog waste in trash bags?

Yes, you may also throw dog waste in trash bags. When it comes to that, there are several options that are available such as:

  • Plastics bags 
  • Biodegradable bags
  • Recycled bags

These are some of the options that you can opt for. The best option is biodegradable bags because these bags are made from natural and biodegradable materials. Therefore, once you throw the dog waste in these bags, not only the dog waste will degrade, but the bags that contain the waste will also degrade. 

The next best candidate is recycled bags. These bags are made from recycled material (either biodegradable or nonbiodegradable). When these bags are used, the environmental waste problem is alleviated to the best of its capacity. 

However, as discussed, this is not the ideal way to dispose of dog waste because:

  • There will be pressure on the waste management systems
  • There will be a use of resources be it biodegradable or non-biodegradable bags 
  • The dog waste will not be utilised to the maximum capacity as it will be in the case of composting 

Conclusion

It is concluded that dog waste is biodegradable as it contains natural and organic materials such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and other microbes. 

The article discussed the best way to dispose of dog waste that was composting while also shedding light on other alternatives such as disposal in bags, or throwing in water bodies et cetera. 

The article also expressed some practical tips and procedures to compost dog waste at home so that the compost may be offered for a number of environmental benefits. 

References

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