Battery Park City will compost dog waste at its dog runs

Poop news is big news, so this press release out of the BPCA caught my attention right quick. The authority has started a pilot program to compost the dog waste collected — or should I say contributed — at its three dog runs: at the North End Avenue Island, “Sirius” at Kowsky Plaza and at the south end of West Thames Park. Here’s how it will work (you can also watch a video below!):
1. Your dog poops.
2. You use the available scooper to pick it up OR scoop it into a PAPER (not plastic) bag.
3. You deposit it into the marked collection bin next to the trash can.

Et voila!

The bins will be emptied and cleaned daily (sheesh, whose job is that??) and taken to the BPCA’s parks operations central dog waste composting unit. Now, this is separate from the authority’s organic composting, just fyi, to which you CANNOT add feces. This will be heated to 140-160 degrees, which kills pathogens, and then the staff will add carbon in the form of wood chips and sawdust and tinker with the mixture to find the right balance of carbon and nitrogen to convert the dog waste into compost. (It’s like a composting toilet, essentially.)

The authority estimates that about 75 pounds of dog waste are produced daily in the dog runs, and if you do the math, that’s 3.5 tons of waste each year. The compost program means reduced methane gases as well as reduced numbers of plastic bags. I don’t know how they will actually do this without gagging, but it certainly sounds like a worthy effort.



  1. Question: I assume they will not “pasturize” all the plastic bags people use to pick up the poop and deposit in the bins. Does that means BPCA staff must sort through 75 pounds of it every day to sort the goo from the bags?? If so, does that job come equipped with hazmat suits?

  2. Hi there John, great question. Ideally, folks will use either the paper bags from dispensers located at each of the dog runs, or the scooper (also available at each). The short video linked in the write-up above shows how quick & easy it’s intended to be.

    Nonetheless, throughout the pilot we’ll be measuring the amount of contamination (plastic bags, trash, etc.) found in bins – both to see how people are reacting to the program, and how we might do a better job of educating the public.

    Hope that’s helpful to you.

    Nick Sbordone
    Battery Park City Authority