How to Dispose of your Pet Waste
Check out REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste 101 for more blog posts and videos on how you can reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle!
How to Dispose of Your Pet Waste
by Ivan Zeng, Communications Assistant
Going Zero Waste is all about learning how to make little changes in everyday life that can have a positive impact in the long run. One challenge many of us can relate to is pet waste removal and disposal. According to the Humane Society, nearly half of households have at least one dog. If you pick up dog waste 3 times a day with plastic bags, that’s over 1000 bags a year into the landfill! Have you ever wondered how else you can dispose of your pet waste that is more sustainable? We have! And for a ‘zero waste’ solution, we have put together a few tips for you!
Flush animal droppings
Flush animal dropping straight down the toilet. The Region’s wastewater treatment system is designed to treat this kind of waste.
Green Bin pet waste
Putting your pet waste in your green bin diverts garbage from our one and only landfill in the region. If you receive weekly curbside green bin collection service in your neighbourhood, add pet waste (including droppings and kitty litter) to your green bin.
When adding the pet waste such as kitty litter to your green bin, be sure to put it in a paper bag (any paper bag is fine) or wrap it fully in newspaper or paper towels. This is to ensure the health and safety of your waste collection crews. You could also use the certified compostable bags sold for use with small kitchen bins.
Prefer bags that you can easily carry while you walk your dog? You can buy rolls of certified compostable waste bags and put them directly into the green bin. Only bags that come with the following symbols are acceptable.
Where can you buy certified compostable plastic bags for dog waste?
We’ve found you a list of stores in the region area that sells certified compostable plastic bags:
- CB Pet Food and Supplies, 1335 Weber Street East, Kitchener
- Global Pet Foods, 669 Belmont Avenue, Kitchener
- Global Pet Foods, 450 Columbia Street West, Waterloo
- Global Pet Foods, 425 University Avenue East, Waterloo
- Pet Shop, 600 Doon Village Road, Kitchener
- Pet Valu, 315 Arthur Street, Elmira
- Pet Valu, 1005 Ottawa Street North, Kitchener
- Town Barker, 1220 Queen’s Bush Road, Wellesley
One Last Alternative to the Garbage
Digest them in your backyard
Did you know you can bury pet wastes in your backyard? Pet wastes can be buried in your backyard using a digester. And you can find digesters available at local stores or even make your own. Our staff Cheryl Evans shares her experience on making your own backyard digester.
Here’s Cheryl’s story:
“Try Making Your Own Pet Waste Digester In order to try to out the most environmentally responsible pet waste option, that uses no water or fossil fuels and produces useful compost, I decided to build a backyard pet waste digester. No rocket science here! My digester is a modified garbage can with a lid that is sunk into the ground.
- Get a garbage can with a removable lid.
- Cut out the bottom with a jigsaw.
- Drill holes in a 6” grid patter along the sides of the can.
- Dig a hole in the ground just a little wider and shorter than the can.
- Sink the can so that only the lid is showing.
- Backfill between the earth and outside of the can with gravel or soil.
- Add pet waste.
- Add a septic starter to get going”
Some Tips for Success:
- Use a dedicated composter for pet waste only
- Use septic starter to speed the breakdown process
- Keep at least 2 metres from food waste composter
- Don’t use plastic (even bio bags) in the composter
- Mix layers of wood chips, saw dust or dried plant material to help the digestion process and reduce moisture build up and odours smell
In two years, the compost should be ready and you can use the resulting compost material as a soil amendment to spread around your property’s lawn and gardens.
Important note: to avoid the potential for spreading harmful diseases, pet wastes should be digested separately, such as away from food waste composter. Avoid planting anything over the site for at least two years or spreading digested pet wastes on vegetable gardens.
Photo Credit: Devin Bettencourt