Pet owners, organizations and businesses want to manage pet waste better. For a long time, education strategies to pick up after our dogs have worked. The dog poop has been picked up, but we failed to act on the “then what”! Sending dog waste to landfills is unsustainable.
Simple and accurate messages will support communities and pet owners who want to do the right thing. With persistent effort, project champions can increase public awareness, knowledge and understanding about the “whys” of diversion, appropriate bag use and transforming options. Social media, websites and surveys are great ways to engage pet owners and bring them around to best sustainable practices.
Here are ideas for helping to educate pet owners.
Community recycling events offer a great opportunity to demonstrate options for repurposing pet waste. Utilities Kingston and Hearthmakers Energy Co-operative in Kingston, Ontario, Canada ran joint workshops on composting pet waste teaching pet owners how to divert it from landfills and keep it out of waterways.
Worldwide, we know there is confusion about dog waste bags, what compostable means and what biodegradable means. Some places have banned the use of ‘biodegradable’ language because it is misleading. Many countries have certification labels for products that meet a ‘compostable’ standard.
Simple education messages to teach dog owners how to recognize a compostable bag can be a useful place to start.
US – ASTM D6400
EU – EN13432
AUS – AS4736 and AS5810