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'.
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.
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 .
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.
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 CO2.
CONCLUSION: buying then throwing out biodegradable bags not only increases extra landfill matter, but it also emits powerful greenhouse gases
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!