easy green pet solution: a dog poop composter!

UPDATE: Please see our 2013 update to this story.

You don’t know how hard it was for me to type that headline without laughing! I didn’t even know that composting pet waste was possible until I picked up a flier on it at my local natural pet store. (UPDATE: You can use the resulting compost for ornamental plants, but do NOT use it on vegetables or fruits. And you can use this for cat poop too, as long as any litter is biodegradable.) I’ve mentioned before that we have two large dogs, so you can imagine the amount of waste that went into our garbage every week. (Actually, try not to imagine it.) Now we have a place where we can deposit the deposits without using plastic bags. And it was really simple to make, too. Read on for instructions. –Mary T.

Click the link for the instructions. (No gross photos, promise.)

The dog poop composter is built using a garbage can with a lid — you probably have a banged-up old one lying around. You can use plastic or metal, though it might be easier to work with plastic. First you drill holes randomly around the can (though my husband made this look like an art form), making sure to leave a few inches around the top of the can with no holes.

Then cut off the bottom of the can. (We used a sawzall.)

Then you find a discreet spot and dig a hole large enough to cover the holes you drilled in the can.

Drop in the can, fill in around the can with dirt, and put some loose rocks on the bottom of the hole for drainage.

After that, add in what your dog left behind, throw in some septic starter (we got ours in the hardware aisle of a grocery store), sprinkle with a little water, and put on the lid. And you’re done!

The septic starter packaging will give you an idea of how much to use (and it’s impossible to use too much — it will only break down organic matter). Simple maintenance will require you to add a bit every few months.

From our partners

I have a question I know it may be silly but me & my husband live in a apartment house and we were trying tol figure away to get rid of poop without throwing it in the trash. Ok here’s my question’s..lol
How fast does the compost break down? Do I need a specific type of compost stuff to put on it? Also will it do damage to the yard?
All we have is a small to medium yard and the way it’s set up is there are 4 apartments the only apartment downstairs has the back deck and I try to keep our to dogs in one spot for pooping
As well as try to keep it maintained. Ugh… I don’t believe our land lord will have a issue with it I really think they should put these every apartment or houses that allow dogs it is a great ideah but not everyone thinks like that. Of course the pet deposits on places are nuts.. But I understand why not all animals pick up after there pets even when walking them. That’s how my puppy got parvo he survived but I was so mad… I didn’t know there’s 2 ways For them t get it smelling it and being born with it.ugh… thank you to people who think outside the box for finding ways to help others with stuff like this..=0)

Mary S

Hi, everyone! I’ve written an updated post about this topic. Please visit this story:

Mary DiBlasi

For those of you who do not wish to make your own, there is a product called Doggie Dooley that you can buy and it works the same way basically. You bury it in your yard, toss in some “digester” and some poop and there you go.


Jodi, your puppy got parvo because you did not have the proper immunization shots before you too it outside. Parvo and distemper are everywhere. Immunize before you take the babies outside!

5 Alarming Things You Didn’t Know About Dog Poop, Austin TX | Game Time Dog Services Austin, TX

[…] to inspire home dog-composting receptacles, here are a few excellent tutorials from the USDA and savvy dog owners on how to build your dog’s very own composting […]


If you can’t compost it, the EPA recommends FLUSHING it rather than throwing it in the trash.

Iris Gibson

So where does it go to when you flush it?