Why U.S. composters don’t accept pet waste

(and how to be environmentally friendlier)

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Accepting pet waste as compost is not common in the US… yet

In recent years, the use of certified compostable pet waste bags has gained popularity among environmentally conscious pet owners. You’ll recognize the bags by the BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) logo on the packaging. They offer a promising solution for managing pet waste in an eco-friendly manner. However, despite their potential benefits, the availability and acceptance of BPI-certified pet waste bags face certain limitations.

In this article, we will delve into the usage of certified compostable pet waste bags. We’ll explore the reasons behind the limited acceptance by commercial composters and highlight the importance of responsible pet waste management. Finally, we’ll tell you what you can do if your composter doesn’t accept pet waste.

How Do You Use Certified Compostable Pet Waste Bags?

Certified compostable pet waste bags facilitate an environmentally friendly end-of-life. They do this for both the bag and the pet waste it contains. Professionals engineer these bags to break down without leaving traces of contamination when composted at a commercial facility. When used, these bags provide a convenient and responsible solution for pet waste disposal.

The primary purpose of certified compostable pet waste bags is to enable dog waste composting. After bagging the waste, the next step is proper disposal in designated compost bins or collection systems. When we add these bags to the composting process, they break down along with their contents. As a result, they undergo decomposition into nutrient-rich soil.

By using certified compostable pet waste bags, pet owners contribute to the reduction of waste in landfills. Instead of lingering for decades in plastic bags, we can transform pet waste into valuable compost.

Ultimately, the waste will go on to nourish plants and promote sustainable gardening practices. This end-of-life process aligns with environmentally friendly principles. It both minimizes waste and utilizes organic matter to create a beneficial new resource.

Using certified compostable pet waste bags correctly is crucial for the effectiveness of the end-of-life process. Pet owners should ensure that they choose bags with BPI certification. This certification provides assurance that the bags meet the necessary standards for compostability.

Why don’t all commercial composters accept pet waste?

While certified compostable pet waste bags hold promise, not all commercial composters accept animal waste for several reasons:

  1. Contamination Concerns: Pet waste may contain harmful pathogens, parasites, or chemicals. These can compromise the quality of the compost or pose health risks to workers. Some composting facilities lack the infrastructure or processes to effectively eliminate these contaminants.
  2. Temperature and Processing Requirements: Commercial composting operations often require higher temperatures and longer composting durations to ensure proper breakdown of materials. Pet waste, with its unique characteristics, may not align with these specific requirements.
  3. Regulatory Constraints: Local regulations and permitting restrictions may limit or prohibit the acceptance of pet waste in commercial composting facilities. They make this decision to maintain public health and safety standards.

It is for this reason that BPI recently amended its policy to only certify compostable bags in Canada. Canada is where composting pet waste is more likely to be possible.

Why is it important to pick up your pet’s waste?

Pet waste is an organic material, so you might believe it’s fine to leave it on the ground. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Foremost, stepping in poop is one of life’s great annoyances, and you don’t want to be the cause or the recipient of such a surprise. Beyond the obvious, there are several real and important reasons not to leave your pet’s waste on the ground.

Firstly, uncollected pet waste can have a severe environmental impact. When left on the ground, it can seep into water sources, contaminating them and potentially causing waterborne diseases.

Additionally, it can pollute ecosystems, disrupting the natural balance and harming wildlife. Picking up your pet’s waste helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and pathogens. Removing it means safeguarding the environment and the well-being of other animals and humans.

Secondly, proper waste management is essential for community health. By promptly removing pet waste, you contribute to creating a cleaner and healthier living environment. Neglecting to pick up after your pet can lead to an unsightly and unhygienic public space.

Over time, waste buildup negatively affects the overall well-being of the community. It can deter people from enjoying outdoor areas and contribute to unpleasant odors and unsanitary conditions.

Lastly, picking up your pet’s waste is crucial for regulatory compliance. Many cities and municipalities have laws and regulations in place that require pet owners to clean up after their pets. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and penalties.

Responsibly managing your pet’s waste is an excellent way to fulfill your civic duty. At the same time, you will contribute to a harmonious and law-abiding community.

What to do if your local composter doesn’t accept pet waste

In many valid cases, commercial composters do not accept pet waste. In those cases, using a bag made from compostable polymers is still a more sustainable choice than traditional plastic bags.

Compostable polymers do not break down as effectively without the commercial composting processes. Still, they offer a reduced environmental footprint compared to traditional plastic bags.

By opting for compostable polymer bags, pet owners can demonstrate their commitment to responsible waste management. This simple choice can minimize the impact of pet waste on ecosystems. Ultimately, they will contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment for all.

EcoSafe Solutions for Composting Pet Waste

At EcoSafe, it’s our goal to make it easier to lead a green, sustainable life. Our line of sustainable pet waste bags is eco-friendly, affordable, and convenient. They are BPI certified, making them one of the top alternatives to plastic waste bags. They are suitable for disposal of waste for commercial composting.

It’s easy to incorporate dog poop bags into your pet’s daily routine. We offer leash dispenser rolls for personal use.

If you’re looking to implement sustainable practices at a larger scale, we offer scalable solutions. Consider placing a compostable doggie bag dispenser in your local park or recreation area. It’s a simple and conscientious way to improve your local public spaces for everyone.

Browse our doggie bag products and do your part to make the world a cleaner, greener place.

Food loss and waste occur at each stage of the supply chain. The biggest proportion (about 37%) happens in the home.

ReFED, 2021