Festivities scheduled June 19 will celebrate Englewood’s participation in a program in which a local company will annually recycle about 10 tons of dog waste from the Canine Corral, the city-owned off-leash dog park.
Activities, sponsored by the recycling company EnviroWagg, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Canine Corral off-leash park, which is located on the west side of Belleview Park. The entrance into the parking lot is on South Windermere Street south of the intersection with West Layton Avenue.
There will be treats for the dogs, instruction about the process that creates a product called Doggone Good Compost and a number of other activities.
Rose Seemann, owner of the recycling company EnviroWagg, said this event is a big deal.
“As far as I know, Englewood is the first community in the country to work with our dog waste recycling program,” she said. “It also is a great project because it involves the city, residents and local companies working with our company to turn dog waste into a useful product.”
It took the collaboration of the city, EnviroWagg and the nonprofit organization of dog owners, Englewood Unleashed to launch this program to recycling dog waste, that began when Seemann presented details of the project to the city council during a March meeting.
She said her company has a program to make flower garden-grade compost out of dog waste and she was assured of city cooperation allowing the company to put up dispensers containing special bags for the waste and set up a separate container for the bags of waste.
“The response had been great,” she said. “We have 15 sponsors who each adopted a bag-dispenser station while the city is putting up instruction signs and a special container for dog waste only.”
The city also is filling the dispensers with oxy-biodegradable bags for the pet waste.
Seemann explained the special bags are a must for the composting process to work properly. She said, while the oxy-biodegradable bags more expensive than the traditional plastic bags used for pet waste, the difference in cost is justified. Plastic bags take centuries to break down while the special bags break down in a year or two like paper and leaves.
Enviro Wagg has been operating a pilot programs and collecting about a half ton of dog droppings a month from separate locations in Broomfield and Westminster and turning it into compost.
The finished compost now is undergoing testing at Colorado State University to insure it isn’t harmful to pets and people. Separate testing to determine the nutrient value of the material is being done by a private company in Brighton. Seemann said the high nitrogen level in the compost helps rejuvenate soil and produces healthy root systems and foliage.
The compost, labeled Doggone Good Compost, went on the market this spring, primarily in garden shops. He said the word about recycling dog waste into garden compost apparently is spreading beyond the Denver area and the state. For example, Seemann said her company just sent a shipment of the compost to Portland, Ore.
Also, it took about a year for the original system to turn dog waste into garden compost. Seemann said, with the Englewood cooperation, the company is switching to a new system that will turn the waste into garden compost in about six months.