As a cat owner, we can be more eco-friendly by learning how to dispose of cat litter the greenway. On average, a single small community has to dispose of about 100 tons of cat waste and cat litter in a year. These are just some methods that helped me reduce the amount of waste I throw away and ultimately led me to develop a cleaner lifestyle - for me and my cats.

1. Use Biodegradable Cat Litter Waste Bags

  • Biodegradable Waste Bags
  • Trash Bin (Designated for Cat Waste/Litter)

Biodegradable Bags

There are actually cat litter waste bags that have been made to be biodegradable. These are the ASTM-6400 certified biodegradable bags. However, these bags are able to break down with adequate exposure to UV and oxygen. If they are piled up into your local landfill, they might not be able to breakdown as you would expect, especially in marine environments.

When you use a biodegradable bag, you can compost your waste and the bag to make sure that you don’t end up just adding more to the growing plastic piles at the landfill.

A good product that you can use is the EcoLeo Cat Litter Waste Bag. It’s a big biodegradable bag which you can use whenever you clear out the entire litter box. It is also easy to use since you basically use it in the same way that you would any other trash bag.

However, although the product is labeled as biodegradable, if it ends up in a landfill and starts to break down, the process goes at slower rate of decomposition occurring in an oxygen-free environment, which leads to a release of methane, a greenhouse gas; as most of us know, this is definitely not good for the environment.

Effectivity

If you’ve been using plastic bags to dispose of your cat’s waste for the past years, this won’t add any extra hassle, making this method one of the easiest ones to adapt to. However, these products will probably end up in the trash and contribute to land pollution still, so it is not a truly effective way of going green.

Step-by-Step Instructions on Choosing A Biodegradable Bag

  • Make sure that the bag has no polyethylene. If a bag is labeled as “biodegradable”, it shouldn’t contain this material since polyethylene is the polymer that you often find in your day-to-day plastics. It is what keeps the material from breaking down like other organic products.
  • Check how long it will take to completely biodegrade. Aside from being made of organic materials, bioplastics often have other additives tha work to help break down the product. While these chemicals may make the process go faster, it may cause a release of toxic residue after decomposition.
  • Read the packaging. The items should have a specific note on the type of conditions that the plastic will be able to degrade in. Plastics that are labeled as “biodegradable” are often only capable of breaking down at temperatures of 50C with adequate exposure to UV light and oxygen supply.

Look for accredited certification. There are several independent organizations that can certify a product. However, you need to be sure that it is a trusted organization. You should look for products that have an ISO certification (ISO 9001 and ISO 14001). Based on an American Standard, biodegradable bags should be certified ASTM D6400.

2. Consider making your cat a full-time resident of the great indoors

  • Comfortable Home
  • Cat Litter Box

Why don’t owners just let their pet cats poop outside? This may sound like a free and effective way to go green in terms of waste disposal, but I would highly recommend this. Instead, you should consider keeping your cat indoors.

While you might think that the best way to go green with your kitty is to let them run free in nature, cats actually shouldn’t be relieving themselves outdoors where their waste will likely be washed into and end up contaminating the city sewers.

Keep Your Cat Indoors

By keeping your kitty inside, you are able to regulate where their waste goes, while also providing your pet with a safe and healthy environment. The effectivity of this method, however, is entirely dependent on the succeeding steps that you take based on how green you want to go.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Get a recycled litter box

You don’t need to spend to go green. The best way to start is by using a recycled litter box instead of getting a fancy new one. The box is where your cat is going to poop, there isn’t really that much reason to splurge on that one.

  • Use Biodegradable and All Natural Cat Litter

You will be able to find so many brands that are now offering all-natural products that are biodegradable.

  • Properly dispose of your cat waste

When you’ve done the first 2 steps, the only thing left to do is to follow proper waste disposal. Several methods on this are discussed in the article, such as composting, using recycled bags or paper bags, or using biodegradable plastics. If you scroll up, they have been covered in more detail and you can have your pick of which method would work best.

While I’m not suggesting that you ban your cat completely from the outdoors, you should be making sure that they do their business indoors where you can dispose of it properly.

FAQs:

1. Is it illegal to dump cat litter?

This is dependent on your location as some states have laws prohibiting pet owners from flushing down their pet’s waste down the toilet. The reasoning behind this is that sewage treatment facilities use chemicals that target microorganisms in human waste.

Animal waste, such as you cat’s feces, have a different array of microorganisms that may contaminate the sewage systems. Microorganisms such as E. coli, Toxoplasmosis and others could affect marine health. Thus, it would be more environmentally detrimental if their waste gets into the oceans.

2. Can you burn cat litter?

Cat litter products that are clay-based are usually non-biodegradable and don’t burn. If you do try to, you’ll only end up with a black clump that you still have to dispose of after.

Products made from other materials may be burnable. However, not only is this method very harmful to the environment, but it will also be harmful to you; there may be toxic chemicals that are burned in the process which will vaporize or create airborne particles that could get into your system.

3. Is crystal cat litter biodegradable?

Crystal cat litter, or silica cat litter, contains materials that are unable to break down. While this is a more eco-friendly option compared to a clay-based cat litter formula, this type of cat litter is likely to end up at a landfill if not repurposed.

4. How to recycle new or unused cat litter?

One sure way of recycling used cat litter is through composting. However, if you have a bag of unused cat litter in your home that you want to repurpose, there are different things you can do with it depending on what the main ingredient was.

A clay-based product may come in handy when your vehicle has an oil leak. The clumping factor of the product will help it seal those cracks and prevent further leakage. However, this is just as a quick temporary fix so your car doesn’t break down before you get it to a repair shop.

Cat litter products that contain organic materials, such as wood, paper, corn, or wheat can be used as great supplements to your plants. Wood and paper-based products work great to hold water in the soil, so you should sprinkle some in. You can also put these into your compost bin to acts as composting materials.

Conclusion

There are many different methods that will help you lead a greener approach to cat waste disposal. I wanted to share these tips to help others get started as well. I hope you liked the guide and if you found the information helpful, you could help other people go green by sharing this with them.

Author's Bio: 

English Teacher, Blogger, Traveller, American Writer