The reason we compost is to turn waste into something rich in nutrients that can be used to feed plants and boost their growth. It’s a process that nature takes care of for us – all we need to do is supply the compost with materials that can be broken down.
Approximately 1,000 tonnes of faecal waste are produced every day by dogs in the UK, the majority of which is sent to landfill, but that’s not the only way to dispose of pet waste.
We get it…not everyone wants to compost their dog’s poo!
It’s a little messy, time-consuming and not everyone has the space. However, if you are looking to make compost with your dog’s waste to put on your non-edible plants then check out our guide below.
You are still making a huge positive impact to the environment by using compostable plastic-free poo bags even if you choose not to compost them. Yes they are likely going to end up in landfill but they will degrade in approximately 3-6 months and because they don’t contain any plastic they won’t leach micro-plastics into the watercourse and harm marine life.
Create, or buy, a compost bin and place it in an area which is at least 3 feet by 3 feet and avoid choosing a space where water can get in. Once you’ve identified the perfect spot, start filling the bin with your grass cuttings, plant material and any other organic waste that would otherwise end up in your general bin. We highly recommend that you add sawdust to the rich mix as this is a fantastic source of food for the microbes that break everything down.
It’s important to note that the compost bin which you will pop your dog waste into MUST be kept separate from any other compost bins which you use to produce compost for the plants you want to eat. AND keep your children and pets away from it too.
To make great compost you’ll need a mix of both wet and dry materials. The wet materials are things like grass cuttings and food waste – they have a high nitrogen content too which is super important. The dry materials are things like dry leaves, straw and the sawdust we mentioned earlier – these have a high carbon content.
For this clever ‘science’ to do its thing, aim for a good mix of the wet and dry materials. You also need the right ratio of dog waste to sawdust – for every handful of dog poo, add half a handful of sawdust. No, we don’t expect you to touch the poo, but you get the idea (2 parts poo, 1 part sawdust).
To keep an eye on your ratios and to make sure you’re getting them right, it’s a good idea to layer the waste. When you’re happy with the mix, sprinkle it with water, but not too much, it just needs to be moist not soaking wet!
Place a recycled black bin bag on the top to keep the heat in. If you like, you can buy a thermometer to check the heat – ideally the contents of your compost bin should be around 55 – 70° C.
Nurture your compost bin! Yes, that’s right, you need to care for it for it to be successful. Give the mix a good turn over every week. Don’t forget to cover it up again with the black bag.
When your bin is around 3 to 6 months old, you should see that your mix has become crumbly. Well done!!
Again, we’d like to remind you NOT to put this compost on your salad leaves or vegetables – it’s only for your decorative plants (we’re talking about your hanging baskets, your flower beds and shrubbery). Saying that, the results you’ll achieve will be the envy of your neighbours!
Double check that you are using compostable poo bags!
When adding your dog waste, it’s OK to include your composable dog poo bag. Any other bag won’t work and will remain in your compost bin for hundreds of years! Don’t confuse biodegradable for compostable either – read our blog, ‘What is the difference between degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags?’ to find out why.