Lately, I’ve had poop on the brain.
That’s not uncommon, metaphorically speaking. My mind is often filled with waste matter. But my preoccupation with actual dog doo began with a couple of recent posts about faux feces products on Doggiestylish.com: The Pooping Dachshund Game and Dog Poo Christmas Decorations.
Then on Saturday night, an Animal Planet show on unique pet products had a segment devoted to the Powerloo dog waste disposal system.
If I had $1000 plus the plumber’s installation fee to spare, I would get one of these.
Why? Because I try to be eco-conscious and realized, after reading about the Powerloo’s benefits, that I’m a serial offal offender.
Here’s what the Environmental Protection Agency says about the dangers of pet waste:
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.
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.
Their recommendations include flushing dog waste down your toilet or wrapping it tightly and putting in the household trash… but definitely not using it it for fertilizer. Here’s a link to the the entire, very informative EPA article, which also revealed the answer to a question that has long bothered me: What are those “Curb your dog” signs about?
I keep a supply of cheap plastic sandwich bags with me when I walk Frankie and always pick up after him when we’re outside.
… I’m not always vigilant about cleaning up after Frankie in my own backyard. I figured it was an aesthetic issue, and if I waited a visitor-free day or three before disposing, who would know? (Okay, since Frankie has stopped recycling his waste, I’ve gotten a bit lazy.)
Not so. It has often rained when my yard was, well, wasted. So no more of that.
But then I starting thinking about…
… how many more environmentally incorrect plastic bags I was now going to devote to daily poop removal.
[Just an aside here: I’m beginning to feel like Andie McDowell in Sex, Lies, and Videotape — you know, the monologue where she tells her shrink she’s obsessed with waste disposal.]
The solution? Biodegradable waste bags designed to dissolve in the sewer system when you flush them.
I was being penny wise, environment foolish. That’s over. No more cheap sandwich bags for Frankie’s feces.
The next step? Maybe I can encourage the Tucson City Council to install something similar to Cambridge’s Park Spark project, which turns dog poop into methane gas to power street lamps: