Thursday, March 5

The Straight Scoop on Dog Poop

On the face, this is a bizarre little topic for a progressive blog I know, but using a plastic bag and throwing dog poop in the trash is not a environmentally sound solution. Here are statistics regarding the impact of canine crap in the landfill:

• The average person in the U.S. generates about 4 pounds of solid trash per day.
• At that rate, the United States generates 210 million tons of trash per year.
• There are an estimated 44.8 million dogs in the United States.
• Dogs on average poop 23 times a week! That’s an average of 15 – 30 pounds of waste per dog per year.
• In a city of 100,000 people or 43 square miles, dogs can generate about 2 1/2 tons of feces per day. That’s almost 2 million pounds a year.
• A plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in the landfill.

add to this that uncollected poop goes through the storm sewer system and may contaminate the water supply.

Given these facts, it makes sense to rethink doggie doo disposal. How about flushing it down the toilet (or poo down the loo)? For those of you who already do this, you are more of a genius than I. But there is still the issue of picking the stuff up.

In my quest for greener dog waste disposal, I ran across Flush Puppies. These are biodegradable disposal, flushable doggie waste bags. I'm not endorsing them, but I've ordered some to try with my two mid-sized dogs and I'll let you know how it goes.


Marlene said...

Most of your statistics are correct, however the one about the biodegradability of bags is currently not correct. I'd like to send you to our web site, which has a great deal of information, but we are now adding an entire section about the bags that we produce, which is not yet posted.

The bags we are producing and will be available in about 4 weeks, will degrade when the feces and the earth touches them. They will degrade in approximately 45-60 days.

I'll try and keep you posted and hope that you will look at our home units as well.

Hope this helps to change your mind somewhat.

Gark said...


Thanks for your comment. I'm glad that you wrote in. We tried flush puppies and found that the flushability left us flat. Having just been in a landfill this week, I would be happy to know that there is a bag that can biodegrade in four weeks.

Cobey said...

last I read there are over 74 million dogs in the U.S.

Gark said...

The American Veterinary Medicine Assoc. has an estimate from 2007 of 72,114,000 dogs in the the USA. Cobey, thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Go to this product biodegrades slower but eliminates the need to use your hand to pick up the poop! This could really help the 40% of dog owners who do not pick up after their pet at all because they cant stand the "feel" factor.

FloridaBoy said...

I am trying to document dog and cat fecal production. I have found 0.33lbs/dog/day repeated everywhere but have yet to locate the original source. Likewise, the Scottish Gov't (2009) uses 0.75lbs/dog/day and 0.22lbs/day/cat, but cites no sources. Here's the Scottish ref FYI: