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Is Dog Poop the Next Valuable Natural Resource
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud

Renewable energy sources are in high demand right now and you probably wouldn’t think that your dog could produce anything that could be turned into energy. Think again! A new appliance has been designed to take your dog’s waste and turn it into electricity that can be harnessed to charge household gadgets.

Geneva-based designer Océane Izard created “Poo Poo Power” as a way to give dog owners an incentive to clean up after their dogs. She is the proud owner of three dogs and has admittedly stepped in many piles of dog waste on sidewalks and in public areas. She’s always believed that feces could be used for something, but it wasn’t until recently that she produced the conceptual design of her invention.

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In the U.S. alone dogs create about 10 million tons of poop each year, and most of that ends up in landfills. The waste breaks down and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the air. It also leeches into water sources and causes problems for many cities and towns.

Is Dog Poop the Next Valuable Natural Resource
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud

Izard’s device is simple. All dog owners need to do is clean up their dog’s waste and drop a biodegradable bag of it inside the machine. Once inside, sludge-eating bacteria go to work and belch out methane gas that is converted into electricity. The power is stored in detachable batteries that can be used to power appliances around the house.

The amount of power that is produced will vary with the size of the dog producing the poop. Obviously a Great Dane is going to produce more than two times the amount of waste that a Pug would. For a smaller dog, about the size of a Beagle, typically about 250-340 grams of feces are produced each day. That amount of waste could run a fan for upwards of two hours.

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Just for fun, Izard calculated how much dog feces it would take to power an average house. She said it would take somewhere around six or seven dogs per person to completely run a home off canine waste alone.

She’s hoping that her device will change the way that dog owners see their dog’s poop. Although it is the responsibility of the pet owner to clean up after their dog, not all owners do it.

She’s hoping that the “Poo Poo Power” created by her machine, will encourage more owners to scoop the poop and bring it home to lessen their carbon footprint and do their part to help the environment. Not to mention it would save them some money on their electricity bill.