Pick Up After Your Pet

Every time it rains, thousands of pounds of pet waste wash down storm drains and into streams, rivers and lakes. If not disposed of properly, pet waste flows directly into nearby streams and creeks without being treated at wastewater treatment facilities. The proper way to dispose of pet waste is in the trash.

Modern landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Solid waste landfills must be designed to protect the environment from contaminants which may be present in the solid waste stream. The landfill siting plan—which prevents the siting of landfills in environmentally-sensitive areas — as well as on-site environmental monitoring systems — which monitor for any sign of groundwater contamination and for landfill gas—provide additional safeguards.”
– from the Environmental Protection Agency‘s website

Pet waste affects water quality

When pet waste is disposed of improperly, water quality isn’t the only thing that suffers — your health may be at risk, too. Adults working in their gardens, children playing outside, and family pets are the most at risk for infection from some of the bacteria and parasites found in pet waste.

What you can do

  • Pick up pet waste from your yard. It is not a fertilizer, it’s pollution.
  • Carry disposable bags while walking your dog to pick up and dispose of waste properly. When you dispose of pet waste in the trash, wrap it carefully to avoid spilling during collection.
  • If you are not able to put pet waste in the trash, another option is to bury pet waste in your yard. Bury the pet waste at least 12 inches deep and cover with at least eight inches of soil to let it decompose slowly. Bury the waste in several different locations and keep it away from vegetable gardens.
  • Does your community provide pet waste stations in area parks, along trails and in other public places where people frequently walk their dogs? If not, contact your local parks department to inquire about providing them.

Links and Resources