Composting is an alternative and fairly uncommon method for dog poop disposal where pet owners collect discarded dog poop into one large compost heap with the hope that the waste will decompose over time.

While it is possible to compost dog waste, the heap must exceed 165 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately five days to safely sterilize the manure. Unfortunately, most backyard compost systems rarely reach this temperature, and even if they did, it would still be inadvisable to use the waste as fertilizer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dog waste – composted or otherwise – should never be used on crops grown for human consumption.

In addition, before pursuing such a system, it is important to understand that dog waste typically piles up much faster than it decomposes and concentrating this waste into a specific area can seriously damage nearby soil and water quality. Similarly, this practice also presents a number of potential health hazards to families and their pets.

Allowing weeks, months, or even years worth of waste to accumulate in your yard creates a ripe breeding ground for disease and infection. Needless to say, this should be avoided, especially if young children have access to the designated compost area and could potentially come into contact with the waste.

The best action pet owners and communities can take for dog poop disposal is to make sure dog poop is always picked up off the ground and properly disposed of in accordance with local laws and regulations.