Considering dogs poop 10 times more than cows per pound of body weight - that's a fact, ladies and gents - we as dog owners, spend a lot of time picking it up. (Especially if you're a good, responsible dog owner). But even if you're being consistent with your scooping, a recent November op-ed piece from the LA Times cited that simply scooping and discarding might not be enough to consider yourself an environmentally conscious dog owner.
The scoop on poop is that it's becoming a fairly serious environmental issue. The days of saying "its biodegradable compost and thus good for the earth" are over. In fact, dog poo runoff (that results from non-scooping) accounts for numerous diseases/bacteria that can be transmitted to humans.
Furthermore, according to the LA Times article, "plastic bags of poop account for 4% of the municipal waste in San Francisco's landfills, as much as the whole city's disposal diapers. And every ounce of it produces methane - a greenhouse gas 30% more powerful than carbon dioxide." So even proper poo bag etiquette can have an adverse affect on the environment and our health.
The good news, however, is that there are things we as dog owners can do, to help make this smelly problem go away. Here are a few suggestions:
Unfortunately we can't train our dogs to use the toilet (not yet at least ... you never know what Google is up to) but we can flush our dogs fecal material down the same porcelain throne we do our own. It sounds a little cumbersome, but according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, it's the most optimal solution.
If flushing ain't your bag, Austin Poowers, you can bury it in your yard (if you have a yard) - just make sure that hole is at least a foot deep and not near your garden. You don't want diseases from poo particles getting in your fresh tomatoes! If you're really serious about your poo disposal, and have plenty of extra time on your hands, you can even compost it with equipment like the Doggie Dooley.
Ok, maybe you're not ready to get very aggressive with your poo disposal, but are willing to be a little better about your scooping. Let's start with the basics, just scoop that sh*t up! It sounds simple, but according to data, 38% of dog owners DON'T PICK UP THEIR DOG's CRAP. That's way too high of a number, especially considering you can get 700 poo bags off Amazon for $20.
So come on poople, I mean people! Clean it up!