Kitty litter disposal dilemma
October 1, 2010 7:30 PM   Subscribe

Apparently biodegradable plastic bags are causing problems in my city's waste and recycling/green bin system. I did not know this. What should I do about disposing of my kitty litter?

I thought I was doing a good thing by using biodegradable bags in my green bin, but apparently this affects Toronto's bottom line (the bags reportedly don't navigate well in the green bin system and they contaminate recyclable plastic when placed in the blue bin). The city apparently doesn't want compostable bags to be used, either. So the question is this: Should I use non-biodegradable bags and keep my kitty litter in the green bin (apparently they remove the bags in the process)? Or use biodegradable bags and put the litter in the garbage? Which is the lesser sin? Just so you know, composting my litter is not an option in my current housing set-up.

Oh, and the cat whose waste is prompting this question - here. Thanks for your input...
posted by analog to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Does your city's solid waste department have a customer service number you can call to find out the ideal way to handle this? My new town's waste disposal system is positively byzantine compared to my old city, and I've found a lot of useful information on the city services website but calling to clarify has been incredibly helpful with certain types of waste. We are supposed to double-bag pet waste (type of bag unspecified, I use the plastic bags I glean from shopping for lack of other information) and place with nonrecyclable trash.

(re: picture, obligatory: who's a kitty? You're a kitty! Good kitty!)
posted by padraigin at 7:38 PM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: We use wood fuel pellets as cat litter. It works very well. The sell Feline Pine for $12/5#, or wood fuel pellets that are virtually identical for $4/40#. They biodegrade readily, so while the best option would be composting, then burning, I think probably using the bio bags with wood pellet litter in the garbage is about the best you could do.
posted by Leta at 7:40 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

I thought the biodegradableness of biodegradable bags was a moot point when they're sitting at the bottom of tons of packed-down garbage where the air can't get to them to start the biodegrading anyway.
posted by vitabellosi at 8:06 PM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: When I was in a place that did kitty litter in the green bin, I just saved plain paper bags to put it in. Works great.
posted by sunshinesky at 8:24 PM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: Yeah, paper bag for the green bin, as mentioned by sunshinesky. And bonus points for including the photo of the cute kitty! These things are necessary for proper answers.
posted by bedhead at 11:07 PM on October 1, 2010

Awww, what a gorgeous kitty! /skritch skritch

Kitty litter disposal depends on your district. Where I live (in the US) they want us to throw the cat waste in with the garbage, because apparently it doesn't compost well. What I do is use leftover plastic grocery or whatever bags and double-bag the stuff, and toss it.

Your district may be different. Give them a call.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:24 AM on October 2, 2010

The city of Toronto wants kitty litter in your green bin, according to the What to do with it page, so I'd go with non-biodegradable bags in your green bin.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:50 AM on October 2, 2010

Best answer: You can also put it in kraft paper bags as long as you are not lining the big green bin with paper or plastic.
posted by cathoo at 7:23 AM on October 2, 2010

I don't know if you can get World's Best Cat Litter in Toronto, but it's made of corn and it's completely safe for sewer systems. It clumps better than any litter I've ever used, and I just flush it and the kitty poop down the toilet. Not that your kitty ever does such a nasty thing as poop, but if he did... you get the idea. ;-)
posted by lambchop1 at 11:57 AM on October 2, 2010

I was going to recommend World's Best too! It's great. I keep my litter box in the bathroom and it's so convenient to just scoop everything straight into the toilet. It works really well. Swheat Scoop is similar, but less effective.

What a cute kitty! He looks just like my Walter! RIP, Wally.
posted by apricot at 2:39 PM on October 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your comments! I especially liked the ones about my cat being cute...
posted by analog at 7:59 AM on October 5, 2010

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