Two large dogs produce a lot of waste. Not just trampled, half-eaten plants or slobbery tennis balls, but the output of this end of the dog:


It just kills me to wrap dog poop in plastic bags and throw it away. It's not like I'm going to compost it, but it's a biological material and dumping it in a landfill is a real shame. So I decided to make a dog poop digester for the garden.

I sited it here, just outside where the chicken yard will be, beside a spot reserved for a medium-sized snowdrop bush (a California native). That keeps it away from nice quiet patio places, high-traffic areas, and the groundwater that goes into the basement. All good things.


The basic concept with the digester is that you get a trash can, cut the bottom off, and sink it into the ground. Then you dump in the poop and some septic tank digester, and off it goes.

I chose this small-ish kitchen trash bin with a nice sliding top. The stylish white plastic is really only a bonus.

My trash can

A few minutes to dig a 30-inch deep hole (yes, sand is wonderful soil to work with).


A dry fit. It took a bunch of fits to get the bin to sink down right, because I am a sloppy digger.

Dry fit

Then I took the bin in to the basement and sliced the bottom off with a hacksaw. I waited to cut the bottom off until the last thing because without it, the bin is very wobbly, and fitting would be harder.

Minus bottom

With bottom gone, I slid the bin into the hole, stuck the top back on, and backfilled around it with sand. As you can see, when the lid is open the hole is quite large, which is a good thing when you are handling dog poop.

Bin in the ground

Then I tidied up the yard (no pictures of that, sorry).

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posted by ayse on 06/04/06