« BackNews: Vancouver Considering AD For Dog Waste

Vancouver Considering AD For Dog Waste

As any dog owner will tell you, it’s important to pick up after your pooch when they go to the toilet. But collecting dog waste in plastic bags presents its own problems, even if you dispose of it responsibly in the designated bins.

Vancouver in Canada is now looking for an alternative way to handle the dog waste that’s collected. The city estimates that its waste collection staff are handling up to 6,900 tonnes of dog waste a year, the majority of which goes to landfill, Bioenergy News reported.

The problem is that dog waste is collected in plastic bags, which don’t break down quickly or easily in landfill. The city is therefore looking for ways of diverting this waste from landfill and one of the options that’s been suggested is anaerobic digestion (AD).

AD uses bacteria to break down and decompose organic matter, which in this case would be dog mess. Through the AD process, methane and biosolids are produced. Methane is a biofuel and this can therefore be used to generate energy.

The news provider noted that the city of Vancouver is currently considering three options to help deal with its dog waste: AD, composting, or AD followed by composting.

Vancouver has already been diverting around 110 tonnes of dog waste a year through a scheme whereby dog owners deposit their pet’s waste in special red bins. This was set up as a pilot in 2016, but now the city is looking for other options.

This scheme sees the dog waste collected and the plastic bags separated from the poo. The bags are sent to an incinerator, while the waste is treated at a wastewater treatment plant, Prince George Matters reported.

The news provider also noted that although some people are using biodegradable or compostable bags, these are not currently accepted at regional plants so they still need to be separated and sent to the incinerator.

A report added: “As biodegradable and compostable plastics become more common, Metro Vancouver can re-evaluate the problem of plastic bags and dog waste.”

Finding a solution of what to do with dog waste that’s environmentally friendly will be welcome for many dog owners.

Earlier this year, a British inventor came up with an innovative way to use dog poo and encourage more people to pick up after their pets. Brian Harper, who lives in Worcester, has developed a system that uses AD to produce methane that fuels street lights.

He introduced the device in January and claims that it’s solved the problem of people leaving waste on the ground as a result. It needs ten bags of dog poo to produce around two hours of light. It takes approximately two days for the digester to break the faeces down and turn it into the biogas that powers the street light.

Mr Harper told the Daily Mail that in addition to producing biogas, the system also results in liquid fertiliser.

He hopes that small batches of the lamps will be manufactured and delivered to early adopters around the UK later this year. 

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