Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Composting cat waste

Been doing the composting thing lately and really enjoying the results in the garden so I started looking into ways to expand this.

There are two links from Washington State and UMN that say this is a bad idea, as the potential health risks outweigh the possible benefits.  Another link says that its pretty much its like human waste: you gotta leave it alone for a year.  If you aerate it properly and have a thriving compost bacteria/worm combo, you can speed that up as much as 6 months.  Without testing facilities, I'd still wait an absolute minimum of 9 months.

Regardless, the biggest find here looks to be sawdust: you can actually make it very cheaply and cats apparently love it.  If its not quite covering up the odors, you can just add the stuff all the commercial litter uses: baking soda.

1 comment:

Folding Home said...

Update from my friend W:

All poop from meat eaters should be considered harmful for about a year if it has been properly composted (which can be hard). On top of that, you need a bunch of carbon-based material to help process the heavy amounts of nitrogen in the poo. Sawdust definitely helps, but not all sawdust is appropriate.

Sawdust from any of the typical building materials from Lowes or Home Depot since that wood is treated with fire retardation chemicals and such. That crap leeches into the soil. You also have to avoid 'sappy' woods such as cedar and pine since the sap tends to attract non-beneficial insects and can harm bacteria populations. That leaves the hardwoods as being available for safe sawdust usage. Which, can be expensive.

In my opinion, mammal waste can only effectively be composted when you live in the country and have plenty of room and resources to work with.