Don’t let your pet pollute!

A version of this article first appeared in the newsletter we produce for our client, the City of New Braunfels, TX, Solid Waste and Recycling Division.

Look at this cute face! The last thing you think of when you see it is how much waste this pup will produce.

It may not seem like one pet produces that much waste, but combined with all the pets in a community, it quickly adds up. Now that the weather is turning cooler, people and their pets return to spending more time enjoying the outdoors, walking through neighborhoods and parks and along trails.

Whether it is around your home, in your neighborhood, at a park, or on a trail, it is important to pick up the waste from pets. Pet waste can carry harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It also contains nutrients that promote weed and algae growth in waterways and lakes. When left on the ground, pet waste makes its way into the stormwater drains that flow directly into our creeks and rivers.

Here are some tips for ensuring that pet waste doesn’t pollute our rivers, creeks, and lakes:

When walking your dog, bring along small plastic bags. Use a bag to pick up pet waste. Place the bag and pet waste in the trash. Used grocery bags, bread bags, and sandwich bags make excellent bags for collecting pet waste. Keep a supply of bags near your dog leash.
• When removing accumulated pet waste from your own backyard, make sure that it is thrown into the trash. Never throw pet waste into drainage channels, over the fence, or into your recycling cart!
Never dispose of used kitty litter outside! Used kitty litter should be placed into a bag that then goes into the trash.
Many parks provide pet waste bag dispensers and trash cans. Please utilize the bags to pick up after your pet and throw the bag into the trash.

For more information, check out:

• The Zero-Waste Pet,
• The Seatle Times article, What’s the greenest way to pick up after your pets? and
• An Introduction to Pet Waste Disposal from ecolife: a guide to green living.

Photo credit: Wavetop | iStock | Getty Images Plus


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