Monday, October 13, 2008

Composting 101: Part V


Composting Your Doggie's "Doodie" and Other Solutions

In recent posts, I have mentioned that meat, fat and dog and cat droppings are not compostable. There are options to sending this stuff to the dump, though. The most green solution is the Doggie Dooley, is an in-ground dog poop (I suppose cat poop, as well) digester, which dispenses the digested material into the ground in liquid form when it is totally transformed. The Dooley is buried, so that only the lid is visible, and this is flush with the ground and has a built-in foot pedal for opening, so you don't have to handle the door. I found it available in a wide variety of places on the internet, including the larger pet supply stores and the organic gardening sites I have shared recently. There are other brands, as well, starting around $30 and going up depending on size, material and other options.
The downside to the Dooley could be the cost and availability of the enzymes and the maintenance required, which may differ among various brands and models. Enzymes and water must be added periodically to all that I found, so I suggest you check out the specifics on the model you choose.

If burying the droppings in your yard isn't to your liking, there are two other good solutions, that I have found. First of all, if cost isn't a factor, you can hire a pet poop picker-upper, by various names in each area. I found more than one company serving Central Florida, and charging rates in the range of $12-15 per visit. I suppose you would have a choice of how often you are visited, based on the number and size of your dog(s). My one suggestion, if you decide to explore this option, is to find out where the poop goes. If you're trying to avoid sending it to the dump, it would be good to know that's not where they take it.

While biodegradable poop bags have been around for a while, a better solution is on the horizon. This latest solution is Flushpuppies. Flushpuppies are a new dog poop disposal bag which dissolve upon contact with water, an are completely flushable. The company's founders, two graduate students from University of Florida, discovered this material being used for a medical application, which works wonders for dog poop as well. They contend that since our city sewer systems are set up to handle carnivorous and omnivorous digested material (i.e. poop) that flushing our pet's poop in the flushpuppy bags allows us to pick it up without touching it, and the bag dissolves when it hits the water in the toilet.

I'll be testing this new product out as soon as I am able to find them. The company is brand new, and product availability is slim, so far. Keep your eyes out, though. If you have any input, I'll be ready to hear your product review.

If you'd like to be sure to catch all the posts in this series on Composting, the schedule is noted below. Of course, you can always click on the composting label in the right sidebar. Remember, too, that you can subscribe by e-mail or RSS at the top right of the blog, and the headlines will come right to your mail box. Just click to open and read. This is the easiest method. First class delivery of your Organic Journey Online articles; no stamp required. Thanks for your support.

One final note: COMMENTS, please! Click the purple COMMENT link following the post and leave me your questions or ideas. If you are already a composter, I would love to hear from you. What can you teach me?

Composting 101: Part I -- Composting: What Is It and Why Do It?
Composting 101: Part II-- Selecting a Spot & Setting Up a Compost Pile
Composting 101: Part III-- Healthy Choices for Your Compost Pile
Composting 101: Part IV--More Composting Options and Information
Composting 101: Part V-- Monday, October 13, Composting Doggie Duty and Other Solutions

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