Good dog parents might think they're doing their part by using biodegradable baggies to pick up after their pooches. But after Fido's feces go in the trash can and to a landfill, they release methane gas, a significant contributor to the greenhouse effect. A dog park in Cambridge, Mass., has a solution: Add in a methane digester, and let your dog waste power the streetlights, tea cart and popcorn machine.
The Park Spark methane digester, unveiled this week, only powers a streetlight for now — no poop-powered popcorn yet. But it's a neat concept: Replace trash cans with a public methane digester, and you demonstrate how simple it can be to turn waste into fuel.
"As long as people own pets in the city and throw away dog waste, the production of energy will be continuous and unlimited," the project's Web site says.
The project involves three basic steps: Throw your dog's waste into the digester, where anaerobic bacteria are ready to break it down. Stir the mixture to help methane rise to the top, and burn the methane to generate light or electricity.
After picking up their dogs' waste in biodegradable bags, visitors to the Park Spark digester can feed the waste through an above-ground tube, and stir it with a hand crank. The bacteria container is buried underground and the methane is piped through the ground to the streetlamp, which burns with an eternal flame. Eventually, the project leaders want to use dog-generated methane to power vendor carts selling human food.
Conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta came up with the idea, which is partially funded by MIT.
Saying dog poo is contributing to global warming is asinine.
To think of all that doggie poop I threw away and to know I could have sold it maybe for generating energy? Darn!
Everyone's poop contributes to global warming. Lot of hot air begin passed too! Especially by cows! So stop eating meat!
ok i agree, but i said that wrong.
What I meant was, the way it was written implies dog poo is a significant problem that is putting the planet at risk. That is asinine.
It looks to be all above ground in the picture, maybe you should have a diagram, too. Besides that looks like the right size for my home for human poo. Who made this unit?
So, how much solar energy have you used today?
Nice to see the waste being used for something productive, although I think my Great Dane puppy could fill it all on her own :)
I would have to seriously question whether the total energy required to produce, maintain, refurbish, upgrade, and periodically replace the system would actually save overall energy. Do you know how much energy it takes just to mine the ore for the metal, smelt it, roll it out, ship it, weld it, ship it again, install it, etc. etc? And plastic is almost as bad. And then there are all the parts and components. If anything, it sounds like this whole idea is actually worse for the environment as a whole, and only better for the company who can build them and market them to naive policy makers. Come on people... there are better ways to preserve the environment.
As a side note, the light in the picture produces excess light pollution, and is wasteful just by sending a big chunk of its light into the sky rather than out to the surrounding area where it is actually used.
Global warming being billed as a sole reason to do something is getting severely old. Between the use of inflammatory phrases like "climate villain" and asinine stories like using dog faeces as a fuel to combat global warming Popular Science has gone from legitimate popular science magazine to crap-you-can-buy rag, back to popular science magazine and now to a combination of a crap-you-can-buy rag and a shill for the anthropogenic global warming profiteers.
gizmowiz, Stop eating meat? Seriously, what happens to the veggies after they are consumed? same thing. and veggies require pestacidies, machinery to work the land, to harvest, to plant, to monitor, to spread fertalizer... on and on and on..
Not to mention, what happens when they till under the crop after season? It biodegrades and what is the biproduct? Methane. ACRES AND ACRES of methane.
So go eat your tofu and smile knowing that your soy garden is farting too.
Everything has gas.
So eating a cow that digests plants and converts it to protine is actually better. FREE RANGE it buddy!
lnwolf41 In stead of just using the dog crap, make the landfill area a methane collection site and use it to generate power
@gizmowiz; I like RED MEAT, so your idea is to kill all the cows in the world to reduce green house gas?
Then we should kill all the horses, buffulos, elepants,and
termites as they generate a rather large amount of methane also. Sound good to you?
u like red meat i like pink meat but i really don't see how not eating meat could help at all.
option 1: stop eating meat. animal overpoopulation worsens the problem. then they die after they deplete their food suppy. oh and we die too because we are stuck with eating plants and fungi. fungi, which will grow on the rotting corpses of the animals you could have eaten. just think. the longer they are alive the more they eat (plants, other animals) the more they breathe, exhaling co2, another greenhouse gas, and of course they poo, which turns into more greenhouse gas. and they die and decompose, releasing more greenhouse gasses.
option 2: mass genocide of all meat-containing organisms, which decompose releasing methane. unless of course you solve the problem with thermonuclear war. hmm.
Red meat is just so inefficient at only about 13% protein by weight. We should feed all that grain to fly larvae, which are 63% protein by weight. Then grind them up and make maggot burgers to feed the world.
Gizmowiz and jeditalian would love the flavor and be saving the world from all those methane producing cows!
And we could also feed all those little maggots all that dog poo! Save the world from all that carbon released by smelting iron and making petroplastic!
Come to think of it, we could feed the maggots on our own poo! Now that would be recycling for ya! Eat the maggots that eat our poo!
Think AlGore would buy this idea from me?
I love dogs !!
very nice pic
can't you people who always have something negative to say see this as a step forward, that people are out there thinking of ways to make our lives better, our planet cleaner, and teaching that we can live our lives anyway we choose, but as long as we are responsible then we can actually do a service to our environment. This dog poo machine is just an idea that is outside the box, and though it may seem a little strange, its actually exciting what some genius will come up with next. Hey if there was a small vehicle that gets me around town to run some errands and alls I have to do is put my shit, my cats and dog shit in it to power it I'd buy one today.
Also to all you whining about not eating meat. First of all there are more cows then people in our country, 10 times as many chickens. Think of how much food has to be produced to feed them and how much energy to put them on your plate. I forget where I heard this, but someone said if everybody just ate one less meal containing meat a week it would be the equivilant to taking thousands of cars off the road. That is just once a week. I personally belive people are so hard up on consuming meat because they don't know that there are actually better, tastier options out there that are meatless. Saitan for instance is a chicken substitute, its easier to cook, tastes a lot better, and is never dry, and the consistancy is the exact same, plus you don't have to wonder "is this chicken cooked?" you won't get sick from Saitan. Educate yourselves people, that's all im saying.
@kermudjin- i was trying to say that the entire world not eating meat was a dumb idea because then we either have animal overpopulation and more methane released into the atmosphere or we kill them all and dont eat them and the world smells like.. memphis or something.
speaking of maggots, feeding them grain and poo isn't the only option. Maggots love corpses. roadkill. would you prefer to eat your roadkill as is, or turn it into maggots? (because maggots are to roadkill as wine is to grapes)
we could exterminate all the pigs on earth, because what good are pigs really? do they control the mosquito population? no. maybe we just grow pigs because they eat what the cows don't eat.
i wasn't saying that methane collection is a bad idea. dig a deeeeeep hole, dump all your organic trash in it, put a pipe in the hole, cap it and fill the rest back in. then, wait, and tap that pipe as a methane gasline. bam! heat your house with trash, and sewage, and whatever else will decompose into a flammable gas.
what about human poop? how about setting one of those methane digesters at the end cycle of a city's fecal treatment plant. I don't know the ins-and-outs of how this technology works but if most poop can be processed for methane then we're looking at a surplus of shitty gold!
Dog poop powering a street light... That's taking innovation to whole new level. I'm kind of impressed, to be honest. If you thought this article was interesting check out www.thepoophappens.com
<a href="http://www.thepoophappens.com">DOG POOP! </a>