Over 350,000 dogs in Metro Vancouver produce dog waste each day. Where should it go?
Keeping dog waste off the ground is important. People walk on paths and parks and no one wants to step or slip in your dog's waste. It's not a fertilizer, and does not disappear in the rain.
Dogs at home
Dog waste (without the bag) can be flushed in the toilet, and treated at a wastewater treatment plant with other sewage. Don't put it in a storm sewer (on your street) as these carry rain to natural creeks.
*Note: Don't flush any bags. Even bags labelled "flusahble" or "biodegradable" cause problems for our wastewater system. They will clog your plumbing, or the city sewer.
Call a collection service
There are companies that collect dog waste from private and public spaces. This is also a good option in townhouses or apartments where numerous dog owners cost-share. Search the web under 'dog waste collection'.
Build a composter in your garden
Dog waste will decompose cleanly and without odour in a composter. City Farmer provides instructions. Allocate a bin to this purpose only. The resulting compost can be used on shrubs.
*Note: Don't put the resulting compost, or composter on or near your vegetable garden. If you live near a stream, place your composter away from the stream, as the runoff can contain a lot of nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen) which not good for streams. Do not dig below groundwater.
Pet waste is listed as prohibited from the region's garbage, but small amounts are accepted preferably double-bagged and put in the next pick-up.
We want to limit the amount of dog waste going to the landfill. It’s potentially hazardous to staff and it also produces methane, a powerful green house gas. On warm days it smells in bags, the garbage bin and work places. We encourage the alternatives listed above.
Other pets, and other places
Litter boxes (hamsters, rabbits and similar)
Remove clumps of feces and flush or compost them (without bags) or put them in the garbage (preferably double-bagged). After clumps are removed, loose litter (sawdust, corn husks, wood shavings, newsprint) can be composted, in some areas it can be placed in the yard trimmings bin for municipal pick-up (check with your municipality first), or bagged in the garbage. Do not flush litter.
Cat feces can contain a parasite Toxoplasma gondii linked to the disease toxoplasmosis. It is unsafe for people, especially pregnant women.
More information on toxoplasma
Cat feces should not be flushed, handled (always wear gloves to clean a litter box) or composted. Dispose of it double-bagged in the garbage. All litter (even litter sold as flushable) can clog your sewer, or your building or city sewer, and should not be flushed.
Large quantities of dog or other animal waste cannot go in the garbage. Dog kennel operators can call a collection service. Cat kennel operators can call a collection service, or make an arrangement with their closest recycling and waste centre.
Find the closest recycling and waste centre
Parks and pet waste
Some local parks estimate up to 300,000 dog visits each year. If you visit any park, ensure you clean up after your pet, and at minimum use the garbage. Parks are changing too. Some have designated bins, septic tanks and even dog toilets. Using these correctly, where available, will ensure that more environmentally responsible options are available in the future.
Opening a pet waste collection company?
Contact Metro Vancouver's Regulation and Enforcement Division to find out how to access a wastewater treatment plant.