Posts Tagged "clean dogs"

Dog Poop to Fertilizer?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2011 in Environment, Safety | 0 comments

In France, the country notorious for having streets littered with doggie droppings, a scientist is researching turning these dog deposits into environmentally friendly fertilizer.  Interested?  Read the story from Bloomberg News below: Dog-Poop Project in France Seeks to Turn Feces Into Fertilizer April 20 (Bloomberg) — Across the street from a bowling alley in Toulouse, a French scientist in a white smock unlocks the passageway to a hidden refrigerated laboratory where a centuries-old blight is about to be wiped up. “Show him Project Propec,” says Cedric Cabanes, president of Agronutrition SAS, a boutique fertilizer company with annual sales of 18 million euros ($26 million), which may be on the cusp of transforming a global industry that plowed 163.7 million metric tons of nutritional muck into the soil last year. The metal door swings open and the foul aroma of the excremental experiment inside the chamber overwhelms the possibility of accurate visual observation. “What we have here is endomycorrhiza, the molecular detoxifying mechanism for a diffusive airborne substance with a 100 meter radius that provokes an immediate intestinal ejection at a precise position,” microbiologist Hicham Ferhout says, thumping shut the steel door. “In layman terms, we’ve finally discovered how to make a dog sh*t in a specific spot, disinfect the deposit and convert it into environmentally friendly energy or fertilizer. I have to think like a dog.” The origin of feces is no laughing matter in France, where pedestrians can come upon little piles of dog poop on pavements in even the most fashionable of streets in cities from Paris to Bordeaux. France has 8.8 million dogs, according to the Societe de Protection des Animaux. At an average of 22 pounds a year each, they produce about 194 million pounds of stools, some in public spaces, costing the country millions to clean up, according to Toulouse Deputy Mayor Jean-Michel Fabre. Office of Tranquility For the 400,000 residents of Toulouse, says Fabre, who’s also a veterinarian, the postcard-perfect southwestern town is otherwise soiled by 50,000 dogs that step outside to leave tons of their excrement annually. In tow are 300 sanitation workers, 100 of them with scoopers-at-the-ready, spending as much as 33 percent of the city’s 153 million-euro sanitation budget on shoveling canine fecal matter. “Toulouse has industrial quantities to offer,” says the 50-year-old Fabre who, to illustrate his point, is standing in a sand-filled “boite de crotte,” or dog latrine, in the fragrant Jardin Pierre Goudouli behind the town hall. “Look,” the deputy mayor says with a sweep of the hand, “there’s merde everywhere but in here.” As Fabre tells it, Toulouse’s scatological action plan to clean up the mess and turn squalor into dollars began when he in 2009 created France’s first “Office of Tranquility.” The city’s official grievance bureau in its first two years received more than 600,000 calls. Monetizing Dog Poop “The majority of the people complained about dog merde,” Fabre says. “We have seven dog parks, but the dogs refused to use them.” Historical research showed that it wouldn’t be easy or pleasant to monetize dog droppings. The only successful venture in this field took place in Victorian England, when the homeless wandered city streets to collect what was then called “pure” or “scitan” (a noun in which the “sc” is pronounced “sh”) for use in tanning leather. Fabre says solving the problem required a fresh strategy. He called Cabanes and their government-private sector partnership was born. The duo immediately decided to attack the dilemma from the rear. “Everyone was looking in the wrong direction for an answer,” says Fabre, who began his veterinary career working with...

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