This is fabulous - I have had this big moral dilemma recently about picking up my dog's poop when he poops somewhere where there is no risk of anyone stepping in it: like in the bushes on the side of a street. It smells so i should pick it up, right? but even if i use biodegradable bags, I generally throw these in the trash at the first garbage can i see, so really im just filling landfills with dog poop that is totally biodegradable. This seems like a GREAT solution to me! Only problem i see is how to make people not throw other stuff in there or just poop directly into it, cuz folks can be nutty like that- MA
from TreeHugger.com via the Tree Hugger facebook page
New Design Turns Dog Poop into Gold- Well, Methane.
by ALEX DAVIES
Scenario A: You're in the park walking your dog. He sniffs around, finds the perfect spot, squats and poops. You, being the responsible owner, break out the biodegradable plastic bag you brought and pick it up, then throw the bag in the nearest trash can.
Scenario B: You're in the park walking your dog. He sniffs around, finds the perfect spot, squats and poops. You, being the responsible owner, break out the biodegradable plastic bag you brought and pick it up, and throw it the Park Spark Methane Digester. The methane in Fido's poop is then piped to another location, where it is burned for energy to light the lamps in the very park your dog just pooped in.
The Park Spark is the brainchild of Matthew Mazzotta, the creator of the TreeHugger approved Buscyle. The idea of the human and animal waste digester is hardly new, but Mazzotta's design takes it to an interesting new place, seeking to make it part of our everyday lives, not just a love of Ed Begley Jr.'s. Digesters work using the natural process of anaerobic decomposition. Organic matter sealed in an air-tight container produces methane, which can then be separated from the rest of the matter and used as fuel.
The goal of the Park Spark is to make people rethink the idea of waste- epitomized by bags of dog poop- by turning it into something useful. Mazzotta imagines that upon installation, the methane produced by the Park Spark will burn as a sort of "eternal flame" for everyone to see. The idea is that once everyone sees the energy that comes from dog waste, someone will be bound to propose a more practical use for it.
It's an idea that's a bit of a long shot to catch on nationally or internationally, but that's not saying we're pessimistic. Even one Park Spark will go a long way towards changing common perceptions of waste and energy, which is a great start.
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