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.