Dealing with dog poop

Okay, here is one of my pet peeves: people who walk their dogs on the beach and pick up the poop, then leave it sitting there in a plastic bag. I don’t know if they plan to come back for it, or they think they’ve done their part by containing it. But I hate to see plastic trash go into the ocean. It contributes to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” , a toxic area of accumulated plastic and other trash, which by some estimates could be twice the size of the continental U.S.. Besides this, the bags can be mistaken for jellyfish and eaten by turtles and many other species of sea animals, causing blockage of their digestive systems leading to starvation and death.

I have a dog, and have been searching for a responsible way of dealing with the waste. I don’t even like to put it in a plastic bag and deposit it in the trash, because I know the bag will not biodegrade. I save and use bags I would throw away anyway, the ones the bagels came in, or the newspaper on a rainy day. I know I could buy degradable bags or cardboard scoopers, but the ones I use, I’d be “throwing away” (as if there were someplace called “away”) anyhow.

I leave the poop on the ground if it’s in an out-of-the-way place, in the woods for example. But if it’s somewhere it can wash into the ocean, it should be disposed of because it can contribute to bacterial pollution of the water. And of course, if it’s on the sidewalk or neighbor’s lawn it would be inconsiderate not to pick it up.

So here’s an idea I’m going to try, although it doesn’t solve the problem on the walk. It’s a “doggy loo” or composter that’s easy to build in the back yard. It allows the poop to decompose and leach into the soil (not to be used as a compost soil additive though).

Anyone else have ideas or suggestions? Post them here. (I know I said this blog isn’t for posting pictures of my dog, but one seems appropriate here.)

3 thoughts on “Dealing with dog poop

  1. Hi Sylvia. I’ve had no need to try this, but I think it ought to work with most of the dog poop I’ve seen, which is generally of a sufficiently firm consistency that it should leave little residue if handled gently. Invert a plastic bag and, using it like a loose glove, gently pick up the poop and revert the bag around it. Carry it to a toilet and re-invert the bag to flush the contents. Again revert the bag to contain any smell or residue, and it’s ready to be re-recycled indefinitely. Poop only touches the inside; you only touch the outside.

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