FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Poopy Power!

There isn't a dog owner alive who hasn't occasionally wondered, while poop-scooping, why their pooch's by-product couldn't have some productive value other than messing up the lawn. Officials in San Francisco have wondered the same thing -- and are launching a program to turn doggy doo into an alternative energy source.

The city will pilot the program at a dog park, where residents can deposit dog droppings into a "methane digester" that uses bacteria to break the feces down into methane gas.

It would seem that it would take a lot of dog doo to make a significant amount of methane. But San Francisco officials estimate that city dogs generate 6,500 tons of the stuff every year. Another benefit to the program would be to keep the poop out of landfills, as 4% of San Francisco's trash volume consists of discarded poop.

If the program is successful, the next logical step would be for the city to pay for it. Then, you would most assuredly never again step in a mess... or complain about cleaning up after your dog!

Source: Washington Post