Sunday, October 3, 2010

Doggone It! A New Power Source

In an article headlined "Dog poop has bright side: Powering Mass. park lamp" artist Matthew Mazzotta has created a way to recycle canine crap: use it as fuel for a gaslight lantern at a dog park in Cambridge.

An astute reader [ Hat Tip: Kelly Julian Sexton ] sent me a link to this story. Why did she do that? Obviously you've never read this blog.

The system set up by Mazzotta has dog-owners picking after their pets with free biodegradable bags. Then the bags are dropped into a steel drum and the dog-owner turns a crank to mix up the deposited Fido feces with water. Microbes do their work, creating methane that is burned off by the lantern.

Considering Plattsburgh's plethora of pooch poop, the city easily has enough potential fuel to create the energy output of a medium-sized nuclear power plant. But I'm afraid that Mazzotta's system wouldn't work here. Yes, some people would be happy to go along with it, they're considerate citizens, but...

Too many people don't pick up after their dogs already, even in places like Trinity Park where free waste bags are provided. Apparently it's beneath these individuals to keep a shared public space clean for others, so don't bother them. If they're that inconsiderate, forget about them taking the time to turn a drum and create bio-fuel. Rude dog-owners in Plattsburgh are too cranky to crank.

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