Pet Waste – Composting

Q: I discovered a product that composts pet waste. I have always felt badly about throwing away cat litter. It is safe to compost pet feces?

A: It’s not safe to put pet waste in bins from which you’ll remove compost for your garden or landscape. Because cats have lived with humans for thousands of years, they and their masters can catch similar diseases (zoonoses) or parasites. I also don’t care for the commercial pet waste digesters, where a buried plastic container accepts waste through a ground-level lid. I’m concerned that flooding or improper installation could expose you or your neighbors to bacterial hazards. My preference is double-bagging pet waste and placing it in the garbage. Modern municipal landfills are infinitely better at keeping pet waste from human contact than composting or burying it.

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