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cat poop and plastic bags

I know there are lots of threads on plastic bags, but I wasn't able to find any related to this specifically. 

I've been trying to cut down on my plastic bag usage (carrying cloth bags to the store, reusing produce/bulk bags, etc), but now I'm about to take on a cat.  When I had one as a kid, we always reused plastic grocery bags for cleaning out the catbox.  Not only does this keep the bags from being able to be recycled, but in order to use them, it seems like I'd have to go back to getting my groceries bagged in plastic (right now, I have zero plastic bags in my house, except huge trash bags). 

Has anyone found a more eco-friendly way to dispose of cat poop?

we either put it in the top of the trash bag from the kitchen on trash day (no extra bags required)

OR

scoop it and flush it down the toilet...our cat doesn't bury hers so its easy for us to pick off the top and flush. there's usually not even any litter stuck to it.

The pee part can't be flushed, so I guess we do the first thing I mentioned for that. We hardly have any trash at our house, but when we do, we top it off with cat litter!

I have often wondered the same thing....since using earth bags we hardly have any plastic bags either!

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Get flushable litter!  The Swheat scoop and World's Best Cat Litter are made of wheat and corn, respectively, and are completely flushable.  We use World's Best and love being able to flush it--we clean the litter box much more often.

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Get flushable litter!  The Swheat scoop and World's Best Cat Litter are made of wheat and corn, respectively, and are completely flushable.  We use World's Best and love being able to flush it--we clean the litter box much more often.

KB always comes through with the cat question answers!  ;)b

eta: this was my 2000th post...I've added it to the records...

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we used to use swheat scoop and flush it, but it stuck to the sides of our toilet and wouldn't come off! It seriously cemented itself to the sides?!

Also, my cat hated it and pooped next to her box instead of in it. Since we switched to something else, she actually poops in the box most of the time. I can't think of the brand name right now.

I have heard good things about worlds best but haven't tried it myself.

One bonus of being pregnant.....DH is forced to take over litter duty!

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We don't have the alternative litters here that you have in the States, so I would put the litter box inside a large trashbag, smooth it down to fit the inside of the box, and fill with litter. When it was too soiled to scoop, all you have to do is turn the bag inside out, leaving the dirty litter inside. You don't even have to touch it, the box itself stays clean and the used litter is ready for trash pickup.

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I have a small-sized tub, ~4 gallons, with a tight fitting lid that is lined with a trash bag.  I scoop into that and snap the lid on tightly until the bag is mostly filled up.  Then I tie it off and put it in the outside garbage can.  It reduces the use of plastics, though doesn't entirely eliminate it. 

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Also, if you don't want to go with flushable litter, I used to use recycled brown paper lunch sacks.  It's still creating waste, but at least the bags will eventually biodegrade.

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ya, I hear ya about the plastic bags and cat litter. We use the clumping cat litter so we can't flush it. The brown paper bags are an excellent idea actually because at least they are bio-degradable (I think anyway). I usually use plastic grocery bags, I double them up and wait until the bag is full before throwing it out... so two grocercies bags lasts one week of cat box cleaning. I only get plastic bags at the store when I need more for cat box cleaning, otherwise I use my own cloth bags for grocery shopping. Maybe I'll trying doubling paper bags though.

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we used to use the flushable corn litter (worlds best cat...) but my cat was allergic to it. crazy, huh? i've been thinking about using the "poo container" method, but with two cats whenever the box is scooped its pretty good (they go a lot!)

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Landfills are kept in an anaerobic condition to prevent decomposition.  There's anaerobic decomposition that results in the release of methane gas, but the process paper or plastic, is really slow.  Total overall resource use is higher with paper bags than with plastic bags, if they both come from recycled sources.

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Landfills are kept in an anaerobic condition to prevent decomposition.  There's anaerobic decomposition that results in the release of methane gas, but the process paper or plastic, is really slow.  Total overall resource use is higher with paper bags than with plastic bags, if they both come from recycled sources.

Excuse me, but--huh? Does this mean that paper bags are worse than plastic? Sorry, I don't understand a word.

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That depends on your philosophy.  If you're categorically opposed to plastic, then it's a mute point. 

Over 10 million trees are harvested each year for paper bags.  It takes about four times the energy to produce a paper bag than it does to produce a plastic bag.  Paper bags are also bulkier and heavier than plastic bags, so there's more pollution associated with transportation, and they take up more space in landfills.  When recycling, paper bags take about ten times more energy to recycle.  Landfills are purposefully kept in a dry anaerobic (oxygen-free) condition to prevent decomposition, so organics don't decompose at a "normal" rate.  It all just sits there.  There is some anaerobic decomposition (which generates methane gas), but not at a rate that's particularly helpful when deciding paper or plastic.

I have a bunch of plastic bags left over from before I had reusable bags and I'm using those for Cat's litter box.  Cat's sick, but he were going to live longer and outlast my bag supply, I think I'd just shovel it into my kitchen trash bag.

eta:  yg - I think I accidentally deleted a line instead of a word, so there was no chance of my last post making sense.

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AND....paper grocery bags are typically not made from recycled sources, even though they can be recycled. It takes one 20 year old tree just to produce 700 paper bags....
its quite a conundrum~what to do with al this waste we create!

That depends on your philosophy.  If you're categorically opposed to plastic, then it's a mute point. 

Over 10 million trees are harvested each year for paper bags.  It takes about four times the energy to produce a paper bag than it does to produce a plastic bag.  Paper bags are also bulkier and heavier than plastic bags, so there's more pollution associated with transportation, and they take up more space in landfills.  When recycling, paper bags take about ten times more energy to recycle.  Landfills are purposefully kept in a dry anaerobic (oxygen-free) condition to prevent decomposition, so organics don't decompose at a "normal" rate.  It all just sits there.  There is some anaerobic decomposition (which generates methane gas), but not at a rate that's particularly helpful when deciding paper or plastic.

I have a bunch of plastic bags left over from before I had reusable bags and I'm using those for Cat's litter box.  Cat's sick, but he were going to live longer and outlast my bag supply, I think I'd just shovel it into my kitchen trash bag.

eta:  yg - I think I accidentally deleted a line instead of a word, so there was no chance of my last post making sense.

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We use nature's miracle here.  I like it, but my husband thinks it smells.  I like it alot better than the clay clumping types.  We use plastic bags,  we get more only when we nee them for the litter or to pick up the dog poop. 

I thought I heard somewhere that otters in CA were dying and they thought it was linked to the bacteria that cats carry.  Sorry, I can't think of the name right now, but it's the same bacteria that doesn't allow little2ants to clean out the litter box.

I have heard that you can potty train a cat to use the toliet.  May not help the otters if it is true about the bacteria, but you'll save money on cat litter.

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I thought I heard somewhere that otters in CA were dying and they thought it was linked to the bacteria that cats carry.  Sorry, I can't think of the name right now, but it's the same bacteria that doesn't allow little2ants to clean out the litter box.

It's called toxoplasmosis.  Not all cats carry it, but some do.  I've never heard the otter thing before.  Don't think there are otters around here, so I'm just gonna keep flushing!

Another thing to note--clay litters also don't break down in landfills, so it's not always just the bags that are a concern. 

Can you compost cat excrements if you use wheat or corn litter?

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We use One Earth cat litter and flush it.  I have a giant red bucket that I use for twice daily 'gathering'.  I then wash the bucket in hot soapy water and give it a little spray of Lysol.  No waste.  Our weekly full litter pan dumping (of the non peed on stuff that's just old) gets composted.  It decomposes within 2 weeks.

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I use biodegradable doggie doo bags when I clean out the pans and I'm not dumping the entire box.

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Like these, made primarily out of cornstarch:
http://www.reusablebags.com/store/biobag™-waste-bags-p-1135.html

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FYI, our current solution is to use recycled waxed paper bags for regular box-cleaning - kills trees, but does less damage than plastic we figure.  We scoop out anything that's in her box and add it to the kitchen trash anytime we take that out, but there's just two of us and we recycle and compost, so that's not quite often enough to keep the litterbox from smelling.  We also use the wheat-based litter - our toilet already has too much trouble flushing normally, without putting cat litter in it, but that natural litter makes us feel less wasteful anyway.

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You could try putting it into the last garbage bag on trash night, so you don't have to worry about it leaking or whatever in the house, then just stick it on your curb so its not setting in the house...

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