Ask A Vet: Can You Compost Doggie Bags?


Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB is a board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink…at your service. Ask your own questions in the comments!

Q: What’s the scoop on poop bags?

A: Ok, we admit this isn’t a veterinary question per sé, but we are asked this all the time: Do I put the compostable dog poop bags in the compost? The short answer is: No. The long answer is that while we are all trying to reduce our dependency on petroleum products (which include plastics), the compost system in San Francisco isn’t equipped or permitted to handle animal waste (or probably human- but we haven’t asked about that). So, the upside to compostable bags made from corn or other natural renewables is that they are a great way to reduce the demand for plastics and we can rest assured that we are not contributing to the islands of plastic clogging our seas. But the bags should still be put into the landfill waste bin. No matter what you choose to use – plastic bags, eco bags, newspaper – the most important thing is to be sure to clean up after your dog. We are lucky to be in a dog friendly city and to have so many dog-friendly parks at our disposal. The key to keeping these places open to us and our pooches is to keep picking up what they’re dropping off!

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