By Christa Rolls, USAG Bavaria Environmental Division
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Residents of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria housing areas have recently expressed concerns about pet waste being left in community green spaces.
In one year, a dog can produce nearly 400 pounds of poop, which is equivalent to the weight of a full piano. With thousands of dogs in the USAG Bavaria region, cleaning up pet waste saves hundreds of tons of poop from piling up in our streets, parks and yards.
The safest and most effective way to dispose of pet waste is to use plastic doggy bags to pick up the dog poop and throw it in the trash, followed by a thorough hand washing. Do not attempt to compost or flush pet waste.
Doggy bags can be readily purchased in the pet section at most local grocery stores, and at the installation Commissary or Post Exchange.
Cleaning up pet waste has a number of benefits, including making yards and green spaces more usable for children and adults, preventing dogs from becoming ill if they eat feces, and controlling flies and other insects that are attracted to or live on fecal matter.
Pet owners will also avoid local ordinance fines, which can be as high as 70 euro per infraction.
Here is the scoop on why picking up dog poop is important for human and environmental health:
It is best to always carry doggy bags and immediately scoop the poop for proper disposal. However, if pet owners are on a back country hike far from trash cans, for example, it is possible to bury the waste according to Leave No Trace standards: bury it without a plastic bag in a 6- to 8-inch deep hole at least 200 feet from a water source.
For more information on environmental safety, visit the USAG Bavaria Environmental Division online.