Pet Waste

​​The Scoop on Dog Poop - Scoop It, Bag It, Trash It!

We can teach our dogs all kinds of things, but they can’t take care of their own messes! Pet waste left on the ground can get you, your kids, your pets, and our waterways sick. Read more below!


Why Should I Scoop It, Bag It and Trash It?

Dog standing and scooping poop  
  • To prevent water pollution and fish kills.
    Pet waste remnants may be washed into storm drains that often lead directly to creeks and lakes. When pet waste breaks down, it reduces oxygen levels and may release ammonia that can contribute to fish kills.
  • To keep bacteria out of our creeks.
    Many local creeks in Alachua County are on the State’s Impaired Waters List due to high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria. Pet waste is one of the sources of this bacteria which can be harmful to people and pets.
  • To protect people and pets from parasites and disease.
    Pet waste can contain parasites like hook worms, round worms, cryptosporidium, giardia, and campylobacteriosis. These parasites can be picked up by humans and other pets in water bodies or from the ground.
    “The bottom line is if we pick up the feces passed by our dogs and cats when they are outside and dispose of the feces, we can reduce the level of environmental contamination and possibly reduce the risk of dog and cat infections and the possible involvement of the human population.”
    Ellis C. Greiner, Professor of Parasitology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    University of Florida
  • No one wants to step in pet waste!
    Stepping in pet waste is the worst. Be courteous, protect water quality and prevent disease and parasite transmission. Scoop it, Bag it, Trash it!

Can Pet Waste Be Used As Fertilizer or Buried?

Being an eco-minded organization, we wish we could tell you to compost and re-use dog waste. However, all the current research confirms that PET WASTE IS NOT HEALTHY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. This includes lawns, gardens, compost piles, bushes, waterbodies, etc.

  • Organisms living in pet waste can get you and your pets sick.
  • Most compost piles do NOT get hot enough to kill harmful organisms.
  • Future commercial composting technology may be sufficient to treat pet waste, enabling curbside pickup along with yard waste. Until then, disposing pet waste in the trash is the best option.
  • In many places in Alachua County the groundwater is close to the surface or only protected by sandy soils that allow pollutants to quickly travel to our drinking water. Burying your pet waste or leaving it on the ground is NOT advised.
Composting yard wastes = GOOD

Composting pet wastes = BAD

Won’t Discarded Pet Waste Pollute the Landfill?

No, landfills have liners and treatment systems, so pollutants don’t leach into the environment. We certainly want to reduce our waste stream to landfills whenever possible. However, when it comes to pet waste, there is currently no better alternative.


If you would like a small yard sign to remind your neighbors to Scoop it, Bag it, and Trash it- contact our office at 352-264-6800!

Scoop It, Bag It, Trash It  
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