Thursday, February 10, 2011

Composting Doggie Toilet- A How To

Pocket the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very smart, but she's not smart (or tall!) enough to actually USE a toilet, but we can certainly pick up after her and dispose of her poos in an environmentally sensitive way. Throwing dog poo away is frowned upon by our garbage collectors. Runoff is bad for the aquifer and bodies of water. The sewer isn't the place for it either (apparently dog poo doesn't break down as easily as human poo?): what, then are you SUPPOSED to do with it?

My yard is teeming with poo disposing bug life: i've seen a pile of poo one day turn into a pile of bugs  the next. Quite fascinating, really. I think I have the chickens with their constant supply of 'organic matter' to thank for that, along with organic gardening practices. - I want to eliminate piles altogether, however. So:

We're building a composting toilet!

It's been on the docket for quite some time, but we finally got around to it last weekend. Here's a great link with step by step instructions, and here's how we did it:
  1. Take an old bucket. These Home Depot buckets cost about a dollar
  2. Drill some holes along the sides and bottom of the bucket
  3. Dig a hole and place rocks at the bottom of the hole. Put the hole somewhere downhill from any veggie plantings.
  4. Place the bucket in the hole.
  5. Place the poo in the bucket.
  6. Add some septic starter and maybe some compost and water and VOILA!
  7. Fit a lid for the toilet and maybe paint a cute picture on it. You don't want anyone falling in there.

We couldn't find organic septic starter for a few months, so the poo kind of built up. Gross, i know: sorry. With the septic starter added, this poo should start breaking down quickly. We'll keep adding the starter occasionally to keep things 'active' and what was once nasty dog poopy will become broken down compost. The liquid will run out of the holes, fertilizing the back corner of our yard - you'd do better to place the hole someplace where the compost tea would help out some ornamental plants or something. Eventually the poop should break down enough to be used as compost on non-edible plants. No more reeking yard! No more toxic waste in the garbage can! It's easy to turn something foul into something useful and not stepped in.

What do you do with your dog's 'yard deposits'?

This post can be found at the Simple Lives Thursdays blog hop.

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