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Old 04-08-2011, 02:41 PM
 
438 posts, read 796,287 times
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Default Dog Waste Composte?

Hello,

We have two greyhounds that obviously generate a lot of dog waste. We buy recycled and bio-degradable dog bags to clean it up with but I still hate throwing away that many plastic bags. Has anyone had any luck with a dog composte in their backyard? I saw a couple examples online that seemed like it would work but don't want to do all the labor if it doesn't work. Here is the one I want to try:

Buy a rubbermade garbage can with a lid
cut the bottom off of it
drill holes all along the sides of it (only up to the handles, no higher)
dig a hole deep enough till just the handles of the garbage can are above ground on the garbage can)
add a layer of crushed rock at the bottom of the hole you just dug
insert the garbage can

Supposedly that is it...now you just dump your dogs waste into the garbage can and once a week add some RidEX Septic Tank Cleaner into it and close the lid and that is supposed to eat away the waste.

Has any one had any luck with this method?
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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I have a waste digester. Things to consider.

Pure dog waste is a problem because it containes high levels of bacteria that can be transmitted to humans. The septic system addatives are designed to help break the turds down but does little for the bacteria. Add some organic matter from time to time to deal with this but remember its always pressent.

Breaking down dog turds isn't a continued process. weather, climate and humidity can speed up or slow down the process just like composting. You will need to adjust expectations during the year. At times it will look like its workinga nd other times it may seem to be filling up.

Odor. Unless your asdding something to deal with the odor, it will smell. Nothing you can do except add deoderizer. Also the can will absorb odor usually in the form of moisture that rises and condenses on the tops and sides and dryes. Plan on hosing down and scrubbing the setup each year.

Digesters will attract other insects and samll wildlife, some good, some you don;t want. Its just the nature of the beast. Place it as far away from you as possible so you dont see whats around it.

Overflow. I don;t get much rain but when we do its a down pour and the digester will backup and overflow poopy water waste. If you get a few days of rain or the ground is saturated from sprinklers and such, expect the occassional overflow.

Despite what many say, you will need to remove some compste from the bin because the ground can only fill so much of solids and will evenntually need removal of the broken down matter. Just like a septic system needs occassional pumping, the disgeter will need cleaning too.

ventilate the disgeter because methane gas will be produced. So long as the can is not air tight, the methane will not be an issue, but make it so no air can get in or smells get out, you have the making of a methane bomb if you leave it sealed too long.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
5,983 posts, read 7,713,577 times
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we made one similar to what you posted...
we dug our hole twice as deep and twice as wide as it needed to be...the deeper the gravel bed under and around the septic system the better.
also make sure to use a large rough DRAINAGE gravel, if the gravel is too small or too smooth itll compact and be useless...

i also "water" our system weekly...and we dont use any ridex on a frequent basis...
simply dump it all in (we have 5 small and 1 medium dog) and then once a week give it a good spray with the jet on the hose (carefull of splash back) if your ssytem is getting full, waterlogging and backing up, its not draining properly and you might want to add a deeper ditch.

weve had ours in for about 6 years now with no problems, and were in ct so were not exactly drought season around ehre lol. (oh and of course we keep the lid on it when not "making a deposit")

with a deep drainage ditch you dont have to worry about any bacteria penetrating your upper ground levels...

however make sure to check your dogs for worms frequently as this type of system will NOT kill intestinal parisites.

it doesnt say where you are but if you have cold winters and the ground freezes the poop will also freeze and your leech bed (gravel below and around) wont work properly...personally weve not had problems with this as we just keep adding and then once the ground thaws we water it with warm water and add a package of ridex or similar then...(so we "feed" it with the enzymes about once a year)

we usually find the winter build up to have gone within 3 months of the winter thaw and we did use a can much larger than we realy needed for our dogs because w anticipated "the freeze"

dog and cat waste CAN also go on a normal compost pile...many places say no...but farmers have been composting their pet waste for practically ever...as long as your feeding a good diet, you deworm regularly and your compost pile gets HOT its safe, most folks i knwo that compost their pet waste use that compost for NONE edible gardens (flowers, cutting gardens, around shrubs and trees), but in reality if your pile is reaching the right temperature it killd the bacteria and shouldnt be an issue.

personally i dont compost the dog/cat waste simply because we dont compost intensly enough to make it worth while, our pile never realy gets hot enough, and the doggy spetic is alot easier for a larger number of dogs.

we compost our chicken poop though
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:36 AM
 
438 posts, read 796,287 times
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Very good info Foxy and Pacific! Sounds like it might be kind of a pain considering we live in the midwest with 6 month winters...Something I will have to think about.

Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:19 AM
 
2,796 posts, read 3,530,793 times
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Basically, you just put a septic tank into your yard. Your local municipality might object. Then of course if your ground is mostly clay and/oe doesn't perk well, you will basically end up with just a huge pile of dog crap in your tank, and perhaps a muddy stinky yard no matter what you do.

REALLY do your homework before attempting this.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:22 PM
 
Location: In a cat house! ;)
1,396 posts, read 2,066,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunner0325 View Post
Hello,

We have two greyhounds that obviously generate a lot of dog waste. We buy recycled and bio-degradable dog bags to clean it up with but I still hate throwing away that many plastic bags.
We have a garbage can in the backyard with a bag in it. We shovel daily. Once a week (when garbage pick-up comes), we toss the bag. Not a perfect solution, but it keeps the amount of plastic bags being tossed into the dump to one a week.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
5,983 posts, read 7,713,577 times
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garbage companies HATE dog waste...the bags tend to split open when the truck compacts and the poop smears all over everything (they hate baby diapers for the same reason)

we pay by the oz for garbage so we recycle anything we can...that included pet waste lol...i figure animals have been pooping on the ground for...well...forever...my method just means im less likely to step on a pile and track it through my house :P

i will say...
the grass in the 25ft around my doggy septic is the greanest most lush grass in the garden...lol, so its obviously a very good fertilizer.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:03 AM
 
3,526 posts, read 5,190,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
garbage companies HATE dog waste...the bags tend to split open when the truck compacts and the poop smears all over everything (they hate baby diapers for the same reason)

we pay by the oz for garbage so we recycle anything we can...that included pet waste lol...i figure animals have been pooping on the ground for...well...forever...my method just means im less likely to step on a pile and track it through my house :P

i will say...
the grass in the 25ft around my doggy septic is the greanest most lush grass in the garden...lol, so its obviously a very good fertilizer.
I'd love to be able to do that but we have 3 issues that makes it impossible for us. First, we have heavy clay soil. To say it doesn't perk is an understatement. Second, although our yard is large for the area, its not large enough that there is anywhere that we could put the system in the ground without the occational smell impacting us or our neighbors. Finally, we also have a lot of large trees around us. Its one of the reasons I picked this neighborhood, all of the old growth trees. Unfortunately, with trees come roots. There are a lot of 'em and they are large. We wouldn't be able to dig a hole large enough for the system without cutting through some pretty sizable roots. Sigh......so we double bag the waste and send it to the curb twice a week.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
5,983 posts, read 7,713,577 times
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oh i absolutly understand...sucks when your not given any options.
though i will say ive never noticed a smell from ours, that heavy clay and those big tree roots would be a definate issue lol.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:20 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
9 posts, read 14,251 times
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I am having a problem with my doggie speptic system I made. Maybe I just don't understand the composting part of it.

I add Rid-X to the poop but really am not seeing it reduce. Maybe I really just don't understand how it works. I called Rid-X and they didn't understand it either. They only have a spec sheet in front of them to answer questions with and when it pertains to a doggy system they say they don't know.

Anyway do I fill up the can before I add the Rid-X or after? Will the water wash it away? How wet does it have to be and how often do I add water or Rid-X?

Would lime help? I read about adding some grass clippings but I thought that would make it fill up more and clog the stones at the bottom.

I had a hose running for about an hour one day and it only filled up about 1 foot as it drained through the bottom. Is it better for the water to pool?

Please help - it's filling up and I don't want to have to scoop it out.

thanks, ken
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