Grassroots effort is key
Whether advocating for pet waste repurposing projects or policy changes, ‘normal’ people will find power in numbers. Look for like-minded associates who will see the effort as a win-win – for their and their community’s goals and values. Invite eco-savvy pet lovers to join a pack that will take a bite out of landfill waste. We can do much better at reusing the earth’s finite resources!
Advocacy for projects
Interest in managing pet poop in eco-friendly ways is gaining momentum. Now is a good time to influence decision makers to do more to stop pet poop from filling landfill sites. Whether you’re a staff member convincing your employer to get onboard or community leaders reaching out to government authorities, tactics for gaining support are similar.
Sharing facts and information on a proposed project is essential to getting buy-in from people in a position to make real changes. Offering a commitment to take responsibility for specific project details is equally essential. It’s also helpful if the individual or group has a good track record achieving past goals.
Volunteers who worked for years to raise funds and help build the Port Elliot Dog Park in South Australia had an advantage when they approached their local council to seek funding for a trial to divert dog park dog poop from landfill. The Friends of the Port Elliot Dog Park had a willing coordinator, good data on the quantity of dog poop to be repurposed, and a clear plan. They not only got the green light, but also received a community environment grant to jump start the project.
Heather Gardens is a large active senior residence in Aurora, Colorado. Green Team volunteers there received a city grant to start a dog waste composting pilot project. In order to continue the popular project, the Green Team asked the Heather Gardens Foundation Committee to include the program in their ongoing budget. Here is their successful request for funding.
Advocacy for policy change
Sometimes policies, regulations or legislation need to be modified before a project is initiated. No rule is static. Councils, agencies, departments, boards, and commissions continuously adopt, amend, or repeal regulations.
Grassroots advocacy to make needed changes can involve everything from convincing waste services to accept pet waste for organics recycling to changing state composting directives. In all cases it’s best to find out exactly who the decision-makers are who can approve or support your project and establish positive relationships with them. As with project advocacy, it’s important to provide data and commit to help with implementation if needed.
If you have successful advocacy experiences about sustainable pet waste solutions to share, please let us know.
Search online for inspiration or come up with creative plans of your own that will secure funding at your location.
Here are a few pet-centric ideas for raising funds:
Response to review of draft dog policy
Graphic sent with council letter advocating for their responsible dog ownership policy to include information to help educate and encourage dog owners to divert dog waste from landfill.
A small local fundraising project
An eco-conscious community group of a local park Camperdown Cemetery in an inner city suburb of Sydney (Australia) are trialing a project in 2021 to collect dog poo. It will be collected by a commercial organics service and made into compost. The group have held a fundraiser via social media and signage at the park to cover the costs of the trial and have come close to meeting their fundraising goal.
An adopt a bin program in Colorado, US helps fund the transport of waste so it can be composted