Stacks Image 118

Many people in the Tango Pets community ask us which is the greenest way to pick up poop. We've compiled all the research and present it here for you to read at your 'disposal'.

PART 1: THROWING POOP IN THE GARBAGE
Whether you buy compostable bags, decomposable bags, or reuse grocery bags, newspapers, or napkins, the vast majority of Brooklyn dog owners throw their dog's poop in the garbage.
Stacks Image 259
PART 2: THE LANDFILL
Garbage picked up by New York City is sent to landfills up and down the East Coast in places like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio
Stacks Image 282
WATCH: Video Resource

Watch this FASCINATING clip called "City of Systems: Waste Removal" and hear Brooklyn's Elizabeth Royte narrate the garbage disposal system in New York City.
PART 3: LIFE IN THE LANDFILL

Almost nothing biodegrades in a landfill. This is the sad fact of the matter. Landfills are devoid of oxygen, which microbes require to breakdown matter. Excavations of landfills have found 40-year-old newspapers with readable print .
Stacks Image 395

Regular Plastic Bags

Plastic bags take vast amounts of time to disintegrate (they do not decompose). Plastic disintegrates quickest under sunlight - thus, plastic buried in landfills is estimated to last 500 to thousands of years to break down. This disintegration process is harmful when plastic fragments enter oceans and streams, where it can make its way up the food chain to humans. However, modern landfills are lined with clay and cement to prevent any runoff from entering the water.


CONCLUSION: plastic is practically mummified in the landfill tomb.

Biodegradable, Compostable, Decomposable bags

Many bags that are advertised as 'biodegradable' have disingenuous claims. Many do not comply with scientific standards and the ones that do decompose, only work if sent to compost facilities. In addition, only special compost facilities compost dog waste. Thus, the biodegradable bag will sit in the same trash-filled tomb as the other plastic bags. If the bag does start to decompose in oxygen-free conditions, it will emit methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO
2.

CONCLUSION: buying then throwing out biodegradable bags not only increases extra landfill matter, but it also emits powerful greenhouse gases
PART 4: THE BETTER OF TWO VICES
If you plan to throw away your dog's poop, use other garbage (something that you are going to throw away anyway) to pick it up! If you prefer bags, reuse plastic bags. There are certain items that you cannot recycle like most plastic sandwich bags, cardboard with wax/waterproof or plastic coating, most napkins, most tissue paper, most paper towels, wax paper, most wrapping paper. Do not buy bags, especially biodegradable bags if you are just going to throw them away.
PART 5: THE FUTURE - COMPOST!
Stacks Image 427
Still unsatisfied with throwing away dog poop? Us Too. But, there is HOPE!

There are municipalities popping up all over the country that are starting projects to compost dog waste.

The Citizens Committee for New York City has created a initiative to start composting dog waste in dog runs.

To get involved, contact the Committee
here.

Tango Pets will be starting its own project in Brooklyn. If you have any ideas or advice, please contact us!
PART 6: Further Reading