Introduction: Puppy Waste Composter
You've got a dog. Dogs poop - that's all there is to it. Once they leave you a present you need to do something about it. Leaving it in your yard is uncool. Try having a party in your yard with dog poop all over.
Here's a little DIY project to deal with pet waste. No sense throwing it away when you can make it into something more useful = compost. A little disclaimer - I wouldn't use this compost on soils that are producing something you eat. So unless you are eating your flowers and shrubs, there is no reason that you can't put this compost on there.
Step 1: Exhibit 1 - the Container
It doesn't get much easier than thins folks. I went and bought a 4 dollar valve housing. This is the same thing you would buy if you wanted to put a valve for your in ground sprinkler system.
It is attached to an extra garbage can that was laying around the house. A little dremmel work and I had the bottom cut out. The cover is attached to the garbage can by four zip ties.
While I was drilling holes for the zip tiles I went ahead and put extra drainage holes in the sides. I really don' think those do anything and will be leaving them off next time.
Not shown, is that I wrapped the whole thing in landscaping fabric to keep the soil from coming in.
Step 2: Exhibit 2 - Dig a Hole
Once I had the composter assembled it was just a matter of finding it a home. We had just completed renovating part of our yard, so this makes a great time to dig in. Because of what the composter looks like, I had no worries putting it so close to the sidewalk. There is no smell from it, and people passing by think its just another valve cover. You want water to get into your composter, which is why it is good that there is a little hole on top. Easy way to open it and easy to get rain water down.
Step 3: Exhibit 3 - Waste Producer
This is Piper P. Puppy. She will be the provider of the organic matter for our composter. Other than her solid waste, I will put some lye to help things along.
This is really just a cute picture of her.
Step 4: Exhibit 4 - Final Project
Finally after you have your hole filled you will want to line the bottom with some course rocks to all for drainage. I used lava rock only because we had a lot laying around.
I used about a 3" layer of rock, then I placed the composter in the hole and put another 6" or so of rock around the outside of the composter. Soil was added to bring the grade level up. I wanted the composter to be slightly lower than the soil line for two reasons. 1) To ensure I could mow over the top of the composter with damaging it or my mower, and 2) to encourage water to enter the composter. In a normal septic tank you have a lot of water, coming and going. Because all we are adding is dry matter, water needs to be encouraged to flow into the composter.
I have a small dog, so I made a small composter. If you have a larger dog, you will want to use a larger container.
People often ask me what I am going to do when it fills. Well I can just leave it and the matter will eventually leech out, or I better yet I can empty it. Im thinking a shop vac would suck it out nicely. Then I can empty the vac on my flower beds. What is left after the waste breaks down is humus, not dog waste (get over that right now). I don't think I would use it on veggies or fruits, but it will work great as humus for my flower beds. I need to start another composter project, so that when this one fills I have another I can work on filling while the first finishes breaking down. Remember that in the winter, all composter will become very slow, if not stop.