By Andrea Tomkins
In case you missed the news, Ottawa City Council recently voted in favour of allowing plastic bags into green bins. The change won’t take effect until 2019, and the hope is that this move will convince more residents to participate in the city-wide composting program.
Dog waste will be allowed in green bins as well. Ottawa dogs generate a lot of poop. According to the Ottawa Citizen there are about 40,000 dogs licensed by the municipality and an “estimated 4,000 tonnes of pet waste goes into the dump each year from all homes, based on a 2014 trash audit of 100 homes.”
Ottawa pet owners may be surprised to learn that the proper way to dispose of dog and cat poop at the moment is to flush it down the toilet so it’s treated with the rest of the city sewage.
If this doesn’t appeal, there is another way. This directive is from the City of Ottawa: “... animal feces can be disposed of in the regular garbage provided it is wrapped in absorbent paper, it is sealed in a leak proof garbage bag and it is put out in small quantities of not more than 10% by volume of the garbage.”
In other words, pet owners are expected to bring pet waste home and dispose of it there. But let’s talk about those plastic bags for a moment.
The Case for Biodegradable dog poop bags
Regular single-use plastic bags are made out of non-renewable, very low grade petroleum-based plastic. It takes energy to make them and they take up space in landfills. It is believed plastic bags take 1,000 years to break down, and when they do break down, chemicals will undoubtedly pollute our ecosystem.
So what’s in a biodegradable plastic bag? It’s a good question and it varies from brand to brand. Some bags contain an additive which causes the plastic bag to degrade, while others are made out of vegetable starch and are therefore compostable.
It might seem a bit confusing, but we make sure all of the products we carry at terra20 are vetted by our buyers. What is clear, however, is that if you own a dog (although it’s more likely that your dog owns you!), it’s your responsibility to clean up after it. Fortunately, pet owners have some great options at terra20.
Earth Rated poop bags are strong, leakproof, and are available in scented and unscented versions. They’re easy to open and detach from the roll. Unlike traditional plastic bags, Earth Rated bags contain an EPI additive which help them to break down in the landfill.
Beco Bags are “bear sized.” (In other words, they can handle a big dog and a big job!) Made from thick, eco-friendly degradable materials, we like the fact that they also have a recyclable cardboard core instead of a plastic one. You’ll definitely want a Beco Pocket Pet Bag Dispenser to go with it. It’s made out of unique, degradable, plant fibre plastic. It’s cute too! Attach it to the leash and you’ll never forget it at home.
For the value-minded pet owner, NaturSac’s biodegradable baggies come in packages of 100. They’re made in Canada too.
Did you know that pet owners aren’t supposed to throw dog waste into garbage cans at the park? Fortunately, there is some good news on that front. The city is planning a pilot program for summer 2019 that will include green bins in 10 parks across Ottawa. Until then, no matter what product you decide to use, you still need to stoop, scoop, and dispose of it properly.
Got questions about poop bags and pet waste disposal in Ottawa? We can help! In the meantime, take a look at some of the other pet-related products we have in store.