Improperly discarded pet waste is one of the largest sources of pollution we see in our water. The only way to adequately dispose of pet waste is to throw it in the garbage. When pet waste (or runoff passing by pet waste) enters the storm system the bacteria and other microorganisms can begin to spread. Then, they follow the natural waterways and will end up in our creeks, streams, and Lake Washington. Some of the potential health risks include infections of the gastrointestinal tract, eye, nose, and throat.
As a pet owner, a simple solution is to be a diligent citizen and pick up after your pet. There are many stations around Kenmore that dispense biodegradable bag as well as a convenient disposal can. If you do not have one of these in your neighborhood you can bring disposable bags with you and your pet on walks.
Composting pet waste is okay: MYTH.
Compost incinerators are designed for organic material like food waste and untreated paper goods. The burners do not get hot enough to kill the harmful microorganisms in fecal matter (human or pet).
Pet waste can be used for garden fertilizer: MYTH.
Pet waste is not suitable for garden fertilizer due to the carnivorous makeup of a pet’s diet. Natural fertilizers are composed of largely herbivorous animal waste. Additionally, if you do try to fertilize your garden with animal waste, it undoubtedly will make its way into the storm drain.
Flushing pet waste down the toilet is okay because human waste gets flushed: MYTH.
Pet waste has a lot more bacteria than human waste (23 million fecal coliform bacteria per gram!). The sewage system and treatment is not suited for waste with this amount of harmful bacteria.