August 26, 2010

Dog Doo Compost Bin

This summer we installed a new feature, though well hidden, in our backyard. Gardener Guy had seen on an HGTV show how to compost dog waste. Yep, that's right, good old fashion dog poop.

We have a 3 yr old Golden Retriever named Dixie, and trust me, she puts out plenty of waste, and sizable for that matter. Okay sorry, TMI.  Since Gardener Guy got tired of hearing me complain about the smelly bags waiting for trash day, he decided to try this method of disposing of the doo.

This is a great family activity to do on the weekend, it only took a couple of hours. And seriously, aren't all kids fascinated with doo?

**Don't worry, there are no pictures of the actual doo used to make this tutorial**

Here's what you'll need:
Plastic bin with a lid. We used an empty cat litter box with a flip top lid, but you could also use a 5 gallon bucket.
Rocks. We used some lava rock that was on the side of the garage.
Drill with 1/2 inch drill bit.
Utility knife or saw.
Septic tank bacteria in powder form.

 Here's how you do it:

Prepare the site.
  1. Dig a hole. We dug ours a little deeper than the depth of the container. We chose to put ours in the dog run as close to the property line as possible. *Read: As far away from the house as possible. 

Prepare the container.
  1. Cut the bottom off of plastic container.
  2. Drill holes around sides of container. This is for drainage.

Now to put it all together.
  1. Insert plastic bin into the hole. Make sure the lid is above ground, but that everything else is below ground.
  2. Put a couple of inches of rock in the bottom. Again, for drainage. 
  3. Fill in the hole so there is no space between the container and the ground. 
  4. Insert dog doo into container. 
  5. Sprinkle with bacteria powder.
  6. Water well. And I mean well. 

Essentially, what you've just made is a mini septic tank. It won't hold water, but the bacteria will eat away the doo.  You will need to rewater every day or so to make sure the bacteria can do it's job.

In hindsight, we probably dug our hole too deep and added too many rocks.  We're having an issue with getting enough water to stay in the container to do what it should. Other than that, I love it.

The best thing is that it DOES NOT SMELL. It's underground, and covered so odors never escape.

Let me know if you decide to do this too, would love to hear how you like it.