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The Harmful Effects of Pet Waste Going to the Landfill

  • Water Pollution: When it rains, water can pick up pet waste and other pollutants, carrying them into storm drains and eventually into rivers, lakes, and oceans. This can result in harmful algal blooms and fish kills, which can harm aquatic life and impact the health of people who swim or fish in the affected areas.

    • According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pet waste is a source of bacterial pollution in urban watersheds and is one of the leading causes of water quality impairment in the US.

  • Methane Gas Emissions: When pet waste is buried in a landfill, it decomposes and produces methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Methane is more than 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

    • According to the EPA, landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the US, and pet waste is a significant contributor to this problem.

  • Soil Contamination: When pet waste breaks down in the landfill, it can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater. This can impact the quality of drinking water and harm wildlife.

    • According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), pet waste contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can contribute to the growth of harmful algae blooms in bodies of water.

  • Waste of Resources: When pet waste is sent to the landfill, it takes up valuable space that could be used for other types of waste. Additionally, resources are used to transport the waste to the landfill, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

    • According to the EPA, Americans generate nearly 80 million tons of pet waste yearly. The vast majority of it ends up in the landfills.

Did you know that pet waste can have a significant impact on the environment?
When pet waste is sent to the landfill, it can contribute to a variety of problems, including: