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How to make your own Pet Waste Composter

How to make your own Pet Waste Composter

First, the photo. I know what you are thinking. Good diet. But seriously, who even takes photos like this?

Composting dog waste is an excellent way to reduce landfill and feed your garden.  The usual way to do this for pet dogs is to dig two below-ground composting holes, as this reduces smells to a minimum. (You dig the holes, not your pet dogs. Although, it's an even bet you'll get a couple if you owned my dog.)

What you will need:

  • Spade
  • Saw
  • Pieces of wood, either planks, pieces of plywood or old pallet wood
  • A supply of sawdust, chopped straw, shredded newspaper or fallen leaves


A pit 75cm square and deep will be sufficient for 5 or 6 dogs. Line the sides with wood, leaving small gaps between planks. Drill holes if you’re using ply, and make a solid lid for the top.  

Put a layer of waste in the bottom, and then sprinkle a layer of your sawdust or other dry material over the top of it (about half the volume of the waste).  Continue layering like this until the hole’s full, then leave it to compost. This may take several months, depending on the climate, so you’ll need to make a second composter to start when the first is full.

Cat waste and litter can also be composted, but make sure that you use a compostable litter material, such as wood, paper or cereal based products, rather than a clay based litter.

Image: Shutterstock / Unsplash | Dmitry Utilin
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Science Notes

Composters need a source of nitrogen - dog waste – and a carbon source - the dry material. To kill harmful bacteria and parasites compost needs to reach 55ᵒC. 

Unless you have at least 10 dogs, preferably 20, you won’t have sufficient volume of compost to reach a high enough temperature to kill harmful organisms. It’s therefore essential that you don’t use composted dog waste on areas used for growing food crops, or in areas where children might play. 

Related Tip

If your dog is a hole digger, place a couple of his poops where he has dug and he won't dig there again. He'll soon get the message about digging in general.