Likewise, dog feces is full of bacteria and pathogens; using it as fertilizer or compost, especially on edible gardens, poses serious potential health risks and is discouraged by the CDC:
- “Composting and burial do not kill hazardous pathogens that may be in the pet waste and can pollute water. Landfills are designed to safely handle substances such as dog waste, cat litter and dirty diapers. Yards are not. Most home compost piles don’t reach temperatures sufficient to kill many hazardous pathogens.
- Extended exposure at 140-degree temperatures is required to kill E. coli and salmonella.
- Giardia can survive temperature extremes, chlorination and drying. Cryptosporidium, Leptospira, Salmonella and E. coli can survive for months in feces or soil. Roundworms can survive four years in soil.
- Even commercial yard waste processors do not currently compost waste at temperatures sufficient to kill many pathogens in pet waste, so don’t put dog waste in the yard waste bins for curbside pickup.”
WHY IS PUTTING DOG POOP IN A LANDFILL ANY BETTER?
Landfills have liners and treatment systems, so pollutants won’t leach into the environment. We certainly want to reduce our waste stream to landfills wherever possible. When it comes to pet waste, however, there is currently no better alternative.
If you buried pet waste in your own yard you may cause health problems, especially if it is close to a garden or play area. In many places the groundwater is close to the surface or only protected by sandy soils that allow pollutants to quickly travel to our drinking water, so burying it on your own isn’t the best solution.
At some point in the future, commercial composting technology may be sufficient to treat pet waste, enabling curbside pickup along with yard waste. Until then, landfilling is the best alternative for pet waste.