What do you do with dog waste?

There are millions of dogs in the UK, producing an estimated 1,000 tonnes of poo every day.  Dog waste is unpleasant and can spread the toxocara worm. Obviously we can’t leave all this poo lying around, but what is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of it all?

In the UK most dog owners collect their dog waste in plastic bags then dispose of it in the nearest bin. This is great – but what happens to the waste once it leaves the bin? Well, generally, the bags end up buried in a landfill site where they and their contents will remain for many years – plastic bags can take hundreds of years to degrade.

If the dog waste is going into a household bin this too can cause a problem, as it will start to ferment in the plastic bag. Many councils now only collect wheelie bins on alternate weeks, so the dog poop could potentially be sitting festering in the bin for up to two weeks before being transported off to the landfill site.

Some eco-friendly dog waste disposal methods
  • You can now buy flushable bags so dog mess can simply be put down the toilet and flushed away. The bags break down quickly and harmlessly in the water, and the waste goes to the sewage plant to be safely treated. See Flush Puppies at Amazon.
  • You can put small amounts of dog poo into your compost heap – it’s not advisable if you’ve got either a small heap or a large dog!  Be sure to use compostable, biodegradable bags such as these from Amazon allBIO Dog Waste Bags 100% Biodegradable & Compostable. Most biodegradable bags aren’t compostable. The heap needs to be layered correctly and turned regularly to keep the temperature high. Never use compost containing dog waste on food crops.
  • wormery for dog waste disposalUse a wormery. This works in exactly the same way as a normal wormery used for kitchen waste, but should only be used for animal waste. The worms must be fed exclusively on pet waste as they will not tolerate a mixed diet. If you want to recycle kitchen scraps you will need a separate wormery.  Again, the compost and liquid fertiliser produced should not be used on food crops.  See the Dog Poo Wormery 120L by Earth Essentials or The Pet Poo Wormery by Original Organics, both at Amazon..
  • If you have a garden with free-draining soil you can dig a large hole, say 50cm x 50cm x 1 metre deep. It must have a lid which will keep children out. The dog waste is simply put in the hole, watered, then sprinkled over with sawdust, soil or sand to prevent it from smelling and to keep flies away. Compostable disposal bags can be put down the hole as well.  A septic tank activator, such as Septic Shock can be added to help the waste break down quickly.  Or if you have a bokashi bucket you can use the liquid drained off from that. The waste breaks down into the soil leaving very little residue. When the hole eventually becomes full, simply dig another hole, using the soil to cap off the previous hole. For a working example see Sharon’s Dog Waste Disposal Unit at YouTube.
  • Buy a Doggybog – this is designed to fit onto your outdoor soil pipe.  You just put the dog waste down the pipe then flush the waste away into the mains sewage system. Flushable disposable bags can be used with this system too. More details from Doggybog.

lady with poo bag walking dog

  • DIY dog waste disposal system. You might prefer to build your own system, especially if you have several dogs. City Farmer say they have devised a method of composting dog waste by adapting an old plastic dustbin to slowly decompose the waste in a way that is environmentally safe. See their step-by-step picture guide for the method of construction. They begin by drilling holes in the side of the bin, then cut out the base. A large hole is dug in the ground slightly deeper than the bin, and the bottom of the hole is filled with rocks or gravel. The bin is installed into the hole with the top just a little above soil level, and the lid placed on top. Dog waste is dropped into the bin and sprinkled with a little bio-activator such as Septic Shock or Waste Terminator and some water. The system takes about 48 hours to begin working, after which they say all the waste biodegrades and breaks down into the subsoil.  Again, this system needs to be covered over to keep children out. Any compost produced should not be used on food crops.

I hope this has given you some usable ideas for eco-friendly methods of dog waste disposal rather than sending your dog’s waste off to a landfill site.

Here’s a lovely little video by Daniel, age 6 ‘The gang raise money to buy a dog poo bin for the park

Doggie Doo Game

20 replies on “What do you do with dog waste?”

  1. kensri says:

    Wow this is the most healthy way of keeping dogs poo. But I wonder if this products are available international particularly in Australia?

  2. ellie says:

    I think you may be able to find them through ebay 🙂

  3. Ron Yon says:

    Could one make dog poo logs as one would with horse poo, or does dog poo lack enough fiber?
    Maybe one could use
    paper and poo?

  4. ellie says:

    Would you really want to do that?! Apart from being unpleasant, there are health issues with dog waste.

  5. michael says:

    I flush my dog’s poop down the toilet with a flushable doggy waste bag. Most eco-friendly way to get ride of dog poop.
    Dog doodies are best to be flushed down the toilet and degrade naturally , just as our own doodies. Stop destroying our earth and start educating the public, one poop at a time. Be a responsible owner and go green for our pets.

  6. Claire says:

    Flushing dog poo down the mains sewage system is debatable? The best way is to install a dog poo wormery in your back garden (if you have one). It works in the same way as kitchen waste composters.You can also use the liquid fertiliser on ornamental parts of garden (but keep it away from vegetable, crops and kids obviously)

  7. DOG POOP BAGS says:

    so cool and nice posting and I loved the it is presented… !

  8. Miranda says:

    Agree that flushing it is debatable – the water has to be cleaned up at the sewage works from all the thousands of things people flush and toss down the drain. Where do you think that water eventually ends up? There is a ‘out of sight out of mind’ mentality.
    Plastic bags in landfills isn’t great either – biodegradable bags a bit better. But better all in one place than spread all over cities.
    I think home digestion/composting systems such as mini septic tank or worm farm would be most environmentally friendly.

  9. melanie mcwilliam says:

    Hi, I am looking for a green solution to disposing of dog poo and recycling it. I understand there are wormerys available but they aren`t big enough for the amount of waste. I need something or instructions on how to make a green solution for a dog rescue centre which caters for roughly 80 dogs of all sizes.
    Any help on this matter would be much apreciated, many thanks, melanie

  10. Dog walk says:

    Our dogs a Jack Russell and a Labrador, have always pooped in the garden then scooped and desposed down the toilet and flushed. When they have a run out in the woods, doggy poo bag ana Poo bins. Simple.

  11. H Davies says:

    Before flushing dog faeces down the domestic toilet you should check with your local water company. Some state that animal faeces should not be put in the domestic waste system. Any responsible dog owner would invest in a dog-loo that way they would not have to pay out for plastic bags, can train their animals to go to the toilet in a certain place away from children etc and then only the owner is responsible for dealing with the waste their pets produce instead of everyone else.

  12. Mr Patrick Bradley says:

    Good evening.
    A friend of mine runs a dog rescue in Somerset they have a large number of dogs and as a result have a large amount of dog poo. Can you advise us if there is any way of dealing with the amount of poo they get on a daily basis.
    Thank you for your help
    Pat Bradley

  13. janie says:

    On a visit to Birling Gap East Sussex recently with our young puppy and also doggy bags and plastic gloves I was horrified to see three doggy poo bags dumped on the ground in different areas.I could then see why they were there as there were no doggy poo bins in sight so I suppose they were left on the ground out of frustration.However what is the point of securing the mess in a doggy bag and leaving it on the ground why not put it in the back of your car?

  14. Jo says:

    PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH BAGS DOWN THE TOILET! Even if they say ‘flushable’ they are not! They do not break down. Only poo, wee and toilet paper down the loo please.

  15. Andrew says:

    my next door neighbour’s dog craps in my garden, filthy, i keep lobbing it back over then fence.

  16. jon says:

    My 6 year old son has made a short film about this subject.

    Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  17. yvonne says:

    is it ok to take dog poo from your garden and put in a nearby public dog bin?

  18. Andrew Day says:

    When out walking in the countryside I pick up poop in the usual way with a bag, but instead of doing the bug up I throw the poop, without the bag, deep into the nettles or brambles where no one, human or dog, is going to go. Poop without the bag totally biodegrades and deep in the undergrowth, is not going to harm or offend anyone. It’s certainly better than doing what so many people do which is put it in a bag and drop the bag on the side of the path!

  19. Andrew Day says:

    Further to my comment above, its worth pointing out that I can re-use a single bag over and over again so less resources are used up making bags and the council have less waste to send to landfill.

  20. june says:

    Love the film Jon!

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