Step 4: Drop the Poop

Picture of Drop the Poop
Now the fun begins! The composter is complete and ready to be put to use. If you are using corn starch based bags you can simply drop the bag into the composter, if not you will need to put the poop in without the bag. Adding small amounts of grass clippings will aid decomposition. Some folks recommend adding products such as Cesspool Treatment and Rid-X. I do not, the same bacteria that are in those products are naturally occurring in grass clippings. I design wastewater systems for a living and would not recommend such products even for your home system.

It should be quite some time before this composter besomes full. When the composter is full I can simply take the topsoil off the top and pull the barrel out of the hole. At this point I can either use the compost as lawn fertilizer or simply bury it. Either way we have already helped preserve a little bit of our precious environment.
kwhitacre9 months ago

The idea of gravel around the barrel seems logical to keep out dirt and to allow more air flow. I have morning glory which will probably take over anything I put in the ground. (I'd love to kill it off) With two dogs this seems like a sound idea. One question: You mentioned moving it after some time has past. Any idea now, after four yrs or so, how long that time is?

Hippykidz1 year ago

LOVE IT! This is perfect I have everything but a lid for the pipe right here in the yard. Placement is an issue any problems with odor?

MsCenturio2 years ago
Brilliant! I love not having to add organisms to the naturally occurring ones. The less we mess with Mother Nature, the better. Thanks for a very readable, straightforward Instrucable.
rayleb3 years ago
Well I'm about to make a big mistake I guess. I have been composting leaves dog poo and grass for a few years. I just got through tilling into a 15' X 15' area for what was intended for corn. The composted mix is about 1.5 foot deep. Does anyone know is this dangerous for planting food?
ElmoRoyD3 years ago
i have to ask again, how is this going?

im about to have my own house with a backyard. Finally.
gemtree4 years ago
Seems to me to be an excellent idea for any type of compost.
jondonna4 years ago
What about using this for a small flock (3-4) of chickens?
This would work for any animals waste, correct?
Just to scoop out the poo once a day and put it in the composter?
cloneboy5 years ago
I'm nowhere near an expert, but it seems like you might want to be sure to balance the nitrogen content of the dog manure and grass clippings with lots of carbon. Dead leaves would probably be good, though my readings say sawdust would be best. Shredded newsprint would probably be good, too. Though written for composting human excreta, I highly recommend The Humanure Handbook as a reference.
We have two huge dogs - a pyranees and a shepherd - and I really love this idea.  I would assume, with the bottom cut off, that as the doggy doo decomposed, it would slowly desolve into the ground.  Could you also add some water along with some grass clippings to help the process?
calikoala6 years ago
I am going to guess you have never pulled one of these out of the ground? i can bet you probably don't want to use what comes out of it for any food or garden purposes.. and I'm sure you will be unpleasantly surprised by the smell when you pull it out not to mention a 55 gallon drum half full of poop will be pretty darned heavy. what is the time that these need to remain i the ground to allow the decomposition? If you are adding daily or very frequently, how are you getting the mixture to combined so it breaks down? I would think it will just compact to the bottom of the barrel and end up just being a huge barrel full of pop that needs to be taken to the dump in one large clump?
yea how our you gonna get the poo out?

 Sadly I have to agree with [[calikoala]], there are several other above ground instructables on here that make quite a bit more sense. Oh and lol huge barrel of poop! 
I'm going to guess that you've never read an instructable. If you weren't so busy trying to be look for flaws in other people's instructions, you would have taken the time to read. Nothing will pile up at the bottom of the barrel because there is no bottom. The author never said or implied that you could use this waste for garden fertilizer. Maybe before you try to prove people wrong, you should at least take the time to read.
coderob5 years ago
Great instructable!  We were about to buy one of those expensive systems that does the exact same thing.  Now we can just build one!  Really clear, easy to understand instructions and appropriate, useful even, pictures.  Thank you!
conky (author)  jimdhaem5 years ago
Good idea. We have good luck with mulch hay. I toss a bit in every now and then.
ElmoRoyD5 years ago
how is the compost going?im very curios about it.

i wish i could do something like that... but i live in an apartment.
conky (author)  ElmoRoyD5 years ago
It"s going well thus far. It has been almost a year since I installed it. I recently shined a flashlight in and took a look inside. The barrel is only half full at this point after adding to this thing about twice a day. It has been very cold here in Vermont therefore all composters are working very slowly right now if at all. I am assuming that decomposition is just starting to really take off and expect it to accelerate once the ground warms-up in a couple months. I am hoping that decomposition will be taking place all winter long next year. I have been tossing hay in to help things out.
lebrew6 years ago
What about adding some red wriggler worms to assist the composting? I guess if dewormer is being used on the dog this wouldn't work. Just a thought.
gusaroni6 years ago
Seems like a good idea, but I'm wondering about air getting to the compost. There are lots of holes drilled, but they're all blocked with soil once you bury the barrel. Composting is an aerobic process and needs oxygen, this looks more like a "decomposer" than a "composter" to me. I'm a total neophyte at this stuff though. I'm probably missing something.
My cousin Vinnie (not joking, that's his name) kind of has the same thing with an outdoor bathroom, and every weekend, he pours lye down the hole to compress everything. My question is, would lye help with composting, or would it just add to the possibility of hurting the environment and your overall goal of utilizing your dog's droppings?
konosite6 years ago
I was wondering if this would affect the ground water. I read somewhere that you should not put dog poop to deep in to the ground. I have a small pit that I put the poop into and then cover as I go. The pit is only about a foot deep.
Robtomo6 years ago
I have eight dogs, so this is a brilliant idea
THERRMOS6 years ago
Great idea! Might be a good idea to surround the vessel with gravel to help with drainage and to help keep dirt out.
AhanaVT6 years ago
Nice Legs
diannec6 years ago
Found this instructable to be clear and concise. Have been wondering what to do about pet waste for quite awhile so am thrilled to finally have a solution.