Sydney, New South Wales
A community group in an inner city suburb of Sydney (Australia) are piloting an innovative approach to recycling dog poo in a local park. The eco-conscious group of volunteers held a fundraiser to pay for compostable dog poo bags and a special organics recycling bin for dog poo. The bin is collected weekly by a commercial organic recycling service.
A Sydney suburbs dog shelter catering for about 60 rescue dogs decided to start composting dog poop about 2 years ago. This was an economical decision because composting onsite is cheaper than the transport costs of waste collection! It also just happens to be better for the environmental.
In southern Sydney, the Bayside Council is trialling the use of worm farms to digest dog poo onsite. Phase 1 commenced mid-2019, Phase 2 commenced December 2021. They have moved from using household worm farms to worm pods that can cater for more dog poo. They aim to reduce odour, increase organics recycling, reduce litter bin collections and increase community knowledge about organic recycling.
The doggiedunnie is a dog waste station designed to collect dog poop in compostable bags, and avoid contamination from other rubbish. This Australian design means bins can be collected by green waste services, and the contents transformed into a product that gets reused to nourish soil. If contamination is too high, green bin contents can’t be collected and the contents end up in landfill. There have been and are a few trials being conducted with these bins, for example SA and a WA trial.
On 1 March 2022, oxo-degradable plastic products were banned from manufacture and production in South Australia. Oxo-degradable plastic products have additives which enable the plastic to break down into tiny fragments (or microplastics) rather than completely breaking down. This legislation is helping lead to rapid change when it comes to ‘picking up after your dog’. Many councils are getting on board to supply compostable bags in dog exercise areas and to residents replacethewaste.
An Adelaide-based researcher (aka Dr. Dog Poo) is hoping to pave the way for cleaner and greener pets. Researcher and PhD candidate Emily Bryson is determining whether dog poo composted at home is safe for use in backyard vegetable gardens.
An Adelaide foothills Council trial in 2019 at two dog parks has led to a permanent program to supply compostable bags so dog waste is dealt with via a bio-mediation heating system and turned into nutrient rich garden compost. A feature of the bins is the use of a fill level sensor that helps determine bin collection requirements, saving time and truck kilometres.
Port Elliot Dog Waste Project aimed to reduce dog waste and plastic bags going to landfill funded by a council Community Environment grant in late 2019. The project included a 12-week trial in a dog park, weighing and recording waste diverted using a green organics bin, dog owner surveys about knowledge and behaviours related to disposal of dog waste, improving dog owner knowledge about compostable bags and the compost seedling logo and looking into in-situ and at -home composting options.