The Most Eco-Friendly Way to Dispose of Dog Waste

Leaving your dog's waste on the lawn isn't environmentally friendly.
••• Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Cleaning up after your dog may not be fun, but it's important if you care about the health of your community and the environment. When dog waste is left on the lawn or curb, it gets washed away by rain or sprinkler water into storm drains, and from there it ends up in runoff. Dog waste sometimes contains pathogens -- organisms that cause disease -- so leaving it on your lawn or curb can introduce these pathogens into the area and local waterways. At the end of the day, there are much better options for removing your dog's waste.


There is no one best option for dealing with dog waste as each one has both pluses and minuses. Nonetheless, there are several options that are more eco-friendly than leaving it on your lawn. One of these is adding the waste to your compost pile. The advantage is that instead of wrapping your dog's waste in plastic and mummifying it in a landfill, you can use the composted waste on your ornamental plants. The disadvantage is that the temperatures in the compost pile aren't hot enough to kill the pathogens in your dog's waste.


You can also flush your dog's waste down the toilet. Sewer and septic systems treat the pathogens in your dog's waste and thereby prevent environmental pollution. This, however, is an undesirable alternative for cat waste, because certain pathogens found in cat poop can potentially survive the wastewater treatment process, unlike dog waste. One disadvantage is that if you flush the waste while it is inside a plastic bag, it will ultimately end up in the waste stream because the plastic is nonbiodegradable. The bag may also clog the plumbing.


Burying your dog's waste ensures it will biodegrade in a place where any pathogens it contains won't re-enter local waterways. If you're going to bury it, wrapping it in plastic won't help, however, because the plastic is nonbiodegradable and will remain where you buried it. Biodegradable corn bags are one viable option. It's also important to make sure the water table isn't high enough to carry the remains of your dog's waste into the groundwater.


Throwing your dog's waste in the trash is another option. It's definitely preferable to leaving waste on the lawn because it doesn't carry pathogens into local waterways. But throwing away waste wrapped in plastic does mean you're generating more plastic waste that won't biodegrade -- and that's not environmentally friendly either. One option is to use biodegradable corn-based plastics. Although these are unlikely to break down quickly in the oxygen-poor environment of a landfill, they are at least made from renewable resources.

Related Articles

Why Are Plastic Grocery Bags Bad for the Environment?
The Habitat of Red Worms
Different Methods of Waste Disposal
List of Ways We Can Reduce Trash and Litter
How to Protect the Ecosystem
Methods of Domestic Waste Disposal
The Effects of Littering on the Environment & Animals
Sea Otters Are Dying, and Your Pet Cat Might Be to...
Everything You Need to Know About the Contagion That's...
Is Styrofoam Biodegradable?
Earth Friendly Food Storage Containers
The Importance of Consignment Stores Recycling
Why Is Reuse Important?
How to Minimize Land Pollution
Types of Pollution Found in Brownfields
Effective Ways of Recycling & Reducing Non-Biodegradable...
The Dangers of Opossums
What Exactly Are "Toxins," Anyway?
The Effect of Recycling Plastic Water Bottles on the...
Ecological Impact of Chicken Farming