Every city in America struggles with what to do with dog poop. Owners are supposed to pick it up and toss it out, but many don’t. Doggie land mines line parks and streets waiting for the unsuspecting pair of tennis shoes. 10 tons of dog waste is thrown out in America every year!
San Francisco is looking for alternative sources of energy. That leftover dog poop may be the answer. The city has begun a pilot program where dog poop left at local parks that dog walkers frequent. Workers will pick up the poop. It will then be processed in something called a methane burner. The methane burner converts the waste into methane gas with the assistance of bugs big and small. Methane is emitted by the bugs after they’ve eaten. That gas can be used to run a turbine which can then convert it to heat and electricity.
Methane burners have been used by farms and agricultural businesses. They are widely used throughout Europe.
4% of household waste in San Francisco comes from animal feces. If the pilot program is a success, the city may have found another source of energy for it’s ever growing population.