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The Future’s Bright. The Future’s S**t

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by Startacus Admin

The innovative initiative by Brian Harper of Malvern Hills, that's putting dog poop to very good use! This one might not be a startup, but it would be a waste not to share the progressive idea that may just light the future.

Dog walkers are forever hounded to pick up after their best friend - rightly so - but where do those warm little plastic bags end up? In trees, at the side of the pavement, slung over your garden fence?

Although people are getting better at picking up dog-doo, what they do do with the dog-doo is not necessarily what they should do. And when they dispose of it properly, it only gets buried underground where it lies for a thousand years. Or maybe that’s plastic bags.

dog poopBrian Harper of Malvern Hills in the English West Midlands has found a way to prevent this waste from...going to waste: light!

Specifically, gas light. In front of Brian’s house sits a gas lamp powered by the might of ten dogs. Or one dog, ten times. At least, we assume he has a dog.

This is the first of its kind in the UK and was developed with the financial support of Malvern Hills Area of Natural Beauty. Once the dog’s breakfast has been deposited in the receptacle at the bottom of the lamp - by either the owner or the dog -  it is broken down by microorganisms in the anaerobic digester - generously provided in this instance by Methanogen (UK) Ltd. - to produce methane.

This methane is stored until the timer says it’s time to shine, dog poo street lampthen it is released to fuel the flame. Roughly ten doggie bags power the lamp for two hours. As well as this methane, the digester produces fertilizer for the gardener!

Using animal waste for fuel has worked for us since neolithic times, and with the problem of dog faeces dropping from trees, there doesn’t seem to be any reason not to continue the tradition. Brian’s next step is to get urban parks interested in the technology, and we wish him luck. It’s a crap idea that we hope will go far!

If you liked this dog themed feature, you might want to read up about the UK startup, Butternut Box that's providing a fresh food delivery service, but for dogs! 

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Published on: 15th February 2018

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