Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Composting dog waste
I am interested in hearing from anyone who.....
1. Lives in an area with a frost line (ground is frozen rock solid during end of fall, winter, and, into spring)
2. Has *at least* three large dogs
3. Has successfully figured out a way to "compost" or otherwise dispose of dog waste and has used said method for 2+ years
Why the three criteria? I've gone around in circles with this and 99% of the information I find online or responses I get do not apply to me whatsoever because they are from people who have one or two little dogs and can or have successfully used a "dooley" system because they are only dealing with a fraction of the waste generated by 3-4 GSD-sized dogs and/or don't have to deal with a frost line. When Googling for more information, all I get are products that I have already tried (or installed and used my own variations, often larger, but do not work long term due to #1 and #2 above) or people in the same situation as I am asking the same questions.
A few years ago I installed my own 40 gallon "dooley" system, but it only lasted about a year and a half. I couldn't keep enough water in the system to break down waste fast enough, I had 3-4 large dogs at a time (all popping in my urban yard, not on walks or on acreage where I leave it be), and during the frozen months what little break down was occurring stopped altogether. The front line here is 32-48", so a dooley system has to be *below* that point to work during the winter (plus keep wet) which was impossible for me to dig by hand. After that attempt, I would dig another big hole, fill it, and when full cover it and move a few feet over. Since my entire property including home, garage, driveway, and shed is about 150'x44' that left very little room for digging holes in the back corner and this space is now "full" until stuff breaks down (can take years for dog waste to break down).
Right now I have a separate bin in my garage lined with contractor-strength trash bags, but this is annoying for several reasons: 1) the bin smells already, I don't even want to think about once it gets hot and humid and 2) normally I don't put trash out every week. Recycling is free here and we recycle so much I only have my trash bin out once every 2-3 weeks (we have a pay-as-you-tip system for city trash carts), but now that I'm bagging dog waste, I want it gone ASAP, and 3) I hate putting what is basically organic waste into plastic bags and sending it to the dump.
I'm not sure if there's a way to continually compost pet waste in an urban environment with 4 dogs 40-80lbs (plus fosters), but I'd like to give it one more shot. I've considered getting worms, but this can be costly up front so I'd like to hear from someone who's successfully vermicomposted pet waste.
Last edited by Liesje; 04-17-2014 at 01:58 PM.