Dog Poop Is Not Recyclable

Every animal poops. I don’t know that for a fact but I assume that all mammals and creatures let out a little doo doo like you do.

Dogs poop. I do know that. Dogs poop, their owners pick up said poop, and throw it away unless the owner is an assholes or hoping to get a ticket in some parts of the country. Some dog owners are well intentioned but are misguided in their poop patrol: they throw the shit away in the wrong place. No, they’re not throwing the waste away in foreign trashcans but instead placing the shit into recycling bins.

This is a problem in my neighborhood, where lazy dog ownership and absentmindedness paired with potential color blindness is ravaging recycling bins, making an unfortunate situation for waste workers. Why? Because all the dog shit that stupid ass dog owners put in recycling or yard waste bins have to be fished out by someone. It’s disgusting and rude and reminds me of a brilliant New York Times piece from 2014 about why dogs peeing on street side trash bags make waste management more difficult. Consider who has to literally deal with you and your dog’s shit. Does that mean dog poop should be recycled? No. Absolutely not. That is not possible and you are doing it wrong.

I’ve noticed this problem for years but it recently came to a head thanks to a long Nextdoor posting, a website for NIMBY lovers to rant and rave and share ridiculous stories. Basically, it’s a neighborhood message board for people who want to share information or who don’t get enough attention on Facebook. In my neighborhood, there are a few different types of postings: people complaining about the homelessness problem related to a nearby recycling center in the hopes that homeless people will disappear (instead of actually helping the homeless); people asking about local services like electricians and dog walkers and babysitters; people raising awareness of local businesses or estate and garage sales; and those who want to rant about something.

The recyclable dog poop obviously came from a rant. It all started with Daniel, a Facebook rainbow imaged man who looks like Eric Stonestreet shaking hands with Richard Branson. The post is a simple call to action: dogs are great but their owners suck because they’re attempting to dispose of dog shit in recycling containers left curbside.

So our building’s recycling bin has been in front of our building for about three days– and it seems quite a number of Dog Owners believe that their dog’s crap is recyclable. Spoiler alert- it’s not. But apparently that didn’t stop about at least a dozen dog owners from depositing their dog crap in our recycling bin. How is possible that people who all choose to live in the same neighborhood can be such awful neighbors? Can we all strive to be slightly better and considerate neighbors and human beings? And can all you dog owners out there be a little more responsible with your dog’s crap? Ps. The recycling guys had to fish out alot of your dog crap– so maybe consider how awful a job that was before your lazy ass deposits your dog’s crap in some neighbor’s recycling bin.

Yes, this is understandable. I feel his pain. As a dog owner who knows to throw shit away in the right place, it makes me insane when people throw their shit into blue recycling containers that don’t even belong to them.

That’s the thing: people leave their waste containers out but others—Dog owners.—have no regard for where trash belongs. As is customary in most of the country, blue waste bins are for recycling, green waste bins are for yard waste and compost, and black waste bins are for garbage. Where does the dog shit go? In the black waste bins.

But some people don’t care, assuming the plastic bag and canine fecal matter can be recycled or composted. Yes, some hippies have found that you can recycle the shit and you can compost the shit but that is not what public, tax funded waste management is for. That’s for your own backyard.

Regardless, shit belongs in the trash, thus spiraling this Nextdoor page into a lengthy ranting by all on the subject. Yes, a lot of dog owners are dumb. Yes, dog shit shouldn’t be recycled. But, yes, those who are disposing of dog shit correctly should get a shout out. The final fight in the post between someone named Sarah and original poster Daniel captured both sides of the fight, distilled in a bickering forum between two non-dog owners.

Sarah, From La Brea
With all the trash that gets thrown along 6th street and all the dog waste left on the sidewalks and grass in the neighborhood, I am thrilled when people take the trouble to use my (appropriate) bins. Have at them, everyone!

Daniel, from Mid-Wilshire
Sarah- with all due respect- dog crap shouldn’t be going into anyone’s neighbor’s bins. It’s the recycling people or your neighbors who have to fish it out. And if you’re so welcoming to people doing that may I suggest you post your address and leave your recycling bin outside your place so people in the hood know they have a place to deposit their dog crap. I know our building would rather people deposit their dog’s crap in their own appropriate bin. Thanks

Sarah, From La Brea
I said appropriate, Daniel. And why would I ever fish through my trash? My bins are out there at 6th and Citrus. Come one, come all!

Daniel, from Mid-Wilshire
Sarah, I assume you’re not the one who actually puts your trash into the garbage truck, right? That’s someone’s job. Which means- the person who is doing that job must “fish” through your trash to take out the un-recyclables like plastic bags of dog crap before they empty them into the truck. Now you might think- well that’s what they get paid for- okay- but still it’s a disgusting practice and shouldn’t be encouraged.

Sarah, From La Brea
For the third time, Daniel: Appropriate. Good grief.

Good grief indeed.

Bottom line: if you have a dog, put their shit in the right place because you’re causing unnecessary stress for everyone. Don’t let your dog be a menace because it makes other’s lives insane, from waste workers to your neighbors. Also! You make all dog owners look bad by your misbehavior—and that’s a loss for all dogs.

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