Fully compostable dog waste bins trialled at Port Elliot Dog Park

Doggy doo doo: Friends of the Port Elliot Dog Park show off specialised bins, which will see dog waste collected in green bags turned into compost.
Doggy doo doo: Friends of the Port Elliot Dog Park show off specialised bins, which will see dog waste collected in green bags turned into compost.

Innovative, new dog waste bins are being trialled at the Port Elliot Dog Park, aimed at creating compost and reducing waste to landfill.

This comes following the introduction of fully compostable green, dog waste bags in each of the Fleurieu's three council districts.

Led by the Friends of the Port Elliot Dog Park with help from partners the Alexandrina Council, Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority and the University of South Australia, the trial will run for 12 weeks.

The trial aims to test different strategies to divert waste from landfill, with special bins in place for park users to deposit dog waste in compostable bags, which will then be turned into compost.

Dog owners were invited to the park on Friday, January 10 to enjoy a morning tea and learn about minimising dog waste and how to capitalise on its use as a compost.

Project Coordinator Ruth Miller said to help collect waste, specially designed bins were sourced and donated by Doggie Dunnies WA.

"The bin is designed in such a way as to help reduce contamination of non-compostable waste," she said.

This is achieved with a specialised opening, requiring park users to thread their compostable dog waste bags through a small hole, ensuring other waste can not contaminate the bins.

The trial will also measure the amount of dog waste collected each week, so statistics concerning the amount of waste diverted from landfill may be assessed.

The project was launched by the Friends of the Port Elliot Dog Park after successfully applying for an Alexandrina Council Community Environment grant, in November 2019.

With nearly 7800 registered dogs in Alexandrina, it is estimated this equates to the production of more than 2000 kilograms of dog waste per day.

Being able to identify which bags are compostable is also key to the project, said Ms Miller.

"Being able to recognise the seedling logo (pictured) and its meaning, that the bag meets Australian compost standards and will break down fully, is an important piece of information.

"We hope this project will help the community understand that most bio and oxydegradable bags are plastic and do not break down fully, despite what their labelling may suggest."

Fully compostable dig waste bags can be purchased from Alexandrina, Victor Harbor and Yankalilla Councils and can be placed in household green waste bins for kerbside collection.