Poop? Or no poop?
Let’s be honest. Composting can seem pretty gross to the uninitiated. Unless you regularly take out your kitchen scraps to your compost pile when you’ve got fresh rinds or peels, you’ve probably dealt with some brown, yucky materials. Of course, when it’s all finished, there are no traces of these materials, and what’s created is a wonderfully rich compost material that should smell like luscious earth.
And speaking of gross, there is the large question of whether or not you can use poop in your compost bin. The answer, of course, depends on what kind of poop you want to use.
POOP TO AVOID COMPOSTING:
Because domestic house pets (like dogs and cats) are carnivorous by nature, their poop should NOT be added to a compost pile. Human poop also (even if someone is a vegetarian!) should never be added to a compost bin or pile. Both dogs and cats have organisms in their stomachs and can also have diseases in their poop that are harmful to the composting process and plant life, and ultimately humans. These diseases can get into the plants you eat, and should not be digested. Human poop can carry pathogens, diseases and organisms that can be extremely harmful.
Now, there are certain worm composting bins that are ok for dog poop. Earth worms and red wrigglers love to feed off of dog droppings, and the worm poop created (called castings) is a very rich, usable compost that is safe to use in the garden.
If you are determined to use human poop for composting, there are composting toilets available. It might sound a little funny, but they do have many benefits to an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Basically, cat poop is never OK to use in composting, but dog poop is OK to use with a worm composting bin. Do note: If you want to put dog poop in a worm composting bin, you can only put in dog poop. Worms do not eat food scraps and poop. They will only eat one or the other so don’t mix.
POOP YOU CAN SAFELY ADD TO YOUR COMPOSTER:
Who’s poop is OK to use in a compost pile? Herbivores. Cows, horses, sheep, essentially all grass grazing animals produce great nitrogen-rich droppings that are safe to use in a compost bin. It may not be glamorous, but shoveling in a cow pie or two will give your compost pile a real boost.
Try using pies that are not the freshest in the field, but instead, use droppings that have started to dry out or decompose already. This way, they can be made into smaller pieces and not just one lump piece floating around. This will help make it more effective in your pile or bin.
Other animals with beneficial poop for your composter: bats, ducks, goats, pigs, pigeons and any other vegetarian animal! Be careful with bird droppings because it might contain weed seeds.
Still want to compost dog poop?
These Flush Puppy dog poop bags can be flushed in a regular toilet. It isn’t really composting, but it’s a relatively eco friendly way to get rid of the dog poop. Municipal sewer systems (and septic tanks) are designed to effectively deal with poop, and it won’t end up petrified in a plastic bag sitting in a landfill somewhere this way.
This Doggy Dooley dog poop composter is a small bin that you bury into the ground. (Everything except the lid is underground, so it doesn’t take up much space in the yard.) You pop open the lid to put poop inside, which decomposes underground. There’s an enzyme product that you sprinkle into the bin to help with decomposition. It costs about $59.