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Opening Arguments


Juxtapoisition of the day. First I saw this story of ours, "Poop happens in Fort Wayne," about an entrepreneur who will come out and clean up your dog's business on your lawn:

It's called a lot of things. Crap. Poop. Feces. Scat. No matter what you call it, it's covering the yard, it's starting to smell and it's got to go.

That's when you call Dave Kulp with Poop Happens.

The name of the company says it all, Poop Happens, and when it does Kulp is there with a small red rake and a orange bucket to dispose of your dog's dookie.

[. . .]

The service doesn't cost too much, either. Depending on the number of animals and the frequency of visits, the starting rate is $8 for one dog once a week or $15 for one dog twice a week. From there, simply add $2 per additional dog once a week or $4 per dog twice a week. The prices include the entire yard, front and back.

“Most people think I only do huge houses in Sycamore Hills or whatever, but I really do it for everyone. People that make $100,000-plus a year or people that make $20,000 a year. It's also a mix of places, too. I go everywhere from near downtown to Waynedale or even Ossian,” he said.

Then I saw this story about the nationwide problem of 10.6 million tons of poop produced by 83 million pet dogs. Because only about 60 percent of dog owners pick up after their pets, according to the story, communities are trying to come up with creative ways to deal with the problem:

A handful of private companies are stepping in to fill the void. GreenPet Composting, a poop-scooping service in Portland, has begun trucking the poop it collects up I-5 to a composting facility in western Washington. In Boulder, Colo., retiree Rose Seeman started EnviroWagg to address the waste "twilight zone that no one is doing anything about." She is currently processing about three tons of poop a year into her "Doggone Good Compost" but hopes to expand the operation. "It's very, very potent."

The same biology that makes poop good for compost also makes it a potential source of energy. It can be anaerobically digested — a process that breaks down organic materials, producing a biogas that can be used for energy and a residue that can be used as a compost on plants. That's what Toronto does with the dog waste it collects through the curbside bins. There have been several experiments with anaerobic digesters at dog parks in the United States. Arizona State University students teamed up with the town of Gilbert to place an underground methane digester in a dog park that draws about 200 animals a day. (They call the project e-TURD.)

Zounds -- Fort Wayne on the cutting edge!

When did "poop" go mainstream, by the way? Sounds sort of friendly, almost cuddly, doesn't it? The national story has the question, "What do we do with this s**t?" which is the way I would have thought we'd handle p**p. Oh, well. "Project e-TURD." D*mn, I like it.