Dog poop lights the way for one resourceful city
Dog poop stinks. It attacks your nostrils like an aromatic machine gun. It provides a cringe-worthy sensation when it squishes into the grooves on the bottom of your shoe. It’s one of the few annoyances of owning a dog—or working with them at a veterinary practice.
But residents in Cambridge, Mass., have found a new use for dog poop: It sheds light on the town. The Park Spark Project features a publicly fed methane digester that converts dog waste into energy, which powers street lamps in the city. The digester is buried mostly underground, save for an above-ground tube and a hand-crank residents use to feed the digester and stir the mixture inside. The newly created methane is then pumped to gas-burning lampposts. Not only does the process provide a renewable source of energy, it eliminates harmful greenhouse emissions from discarded poop that ends up in waste facilities.