The Tompkins County Dog Owners Group in Ithaca, N.Y., in conjunction with Cayuga Compost, has started processing the waste collected at a local dog park to turn it into compost. Owners simply deposit their dogs' feces in composting bins located within the park, and then Cayuga Compost takes the collected waste to their plant for processing.
According to the U.S. Composting Council, compost made from dog feces cannot be used in gardens or as topsoil because it often contains harmful parasites and pathogens that would contaminate water supplies if it were washed away. But it does have value as deep-fill, among other things.
About 50,000 dogs visit the Ithaca dog park each year, and the park estimates that they're collecting about 1,000 pounds of dog waste each month, according to a recent story in the Kansas City Star. They hope to be able to market their compost in two or three years.
Maybe it's time to start thinking about poop as a diagnostic means and a way to save the Earth. Is there a popular dog park in your area? Maybe your town, too, could make use of normally useless dog waste. Or, if you'd like to try composting on a smaller scale at your clinic, several pet waste compost converters are available, such as the Tumbleweed Pet Poo Converter.