Thursday, May 10, 2012
Happy International Composting Awareness Week!
Happy International Composting Awareness Week! It's a great week to bring positive attention to the possibilities that composting can provide to communities.
This special week is sponsored by the US Composting Council (USCC) who works to advance composting and promotes compost use to enhance soils and provide economic and environmental benefits for their members and society. They, like us, believe that the recycling of organic materials is central to achieving healthy soils, clean water and a sustainable society.
One of the most important and valuable ways that dogs can help the environment through composting is with their waste! Did you know that a typical dog excretes three quarters of a pound of waste per day, or 274 pounds per year! That's a lot of doo. And leaving that doo lying around can be very harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.
According to the EPA, "when pet waste is improperly disposed of, it can be picked up by stormwater runoff and washed into stormdrains or nearby waterbodies. Since stormdrains do not always connect to treatment facilities, untreated animal feces often end up in lakes and streams, causing significant water pollution."
They go on to say, "decaying pet waste consumes oxygen and sometimes releases ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia can damage the health of fish and other aquatic life. Pet waste carries bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can threaten the health of humans and wildlife. Pet waste also contains nutrients that promote weed and algae growth (eutrophication). Cloudy and green, Eutrophic water makes swimming and recreation unappealing or even unhealthy."
So what's a dog to do with the doo? We and the EPA both recommend that if you live in the city that has a city water treatment program and facility that flushing your dog's waste is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of your dog's poop.
But if you live in the country and have your own septic tank, it's just not feasible to flush your dog's waste and fill up your septic tank unnecessarily.
You can, however, compost your dog's waste through a dog waste composting system and help keep your and the planet's environment the healthiest it can be. To learn how to build your own dog waste composting system, visit our recent blog post, 'Our plan to build a homemade dog waste composter!' to learn how.
And if you do live in the city and are interested in looking into a new alternative way to compost your dog's waste through vermicasting (which is worm poo composting), click here to find out more information.