Smashing contamination: Woodlands

A trial in a local council park housing a bin with compostable dog waste bags has led to a less than one per cent contamination rate, showing promise for a wider roll-out.

In 2020, Andrew Wynne of Woodlands is counting his lucky stars that he stuck to 100 per cent Australian-made, as he says the ability to support locally made products is important now more than ever.

“Given the current climate and economic and social challenges we face, the more we can do to support local products and employment, the better,” Andrew says.

Based in Perth, Woodlands, which has been around for around 30 years, has been designing Australian-made litter receptacles and complementary products for more than a decade.

With demand for food and garden organics (FOGO) collection increasing, driven by WA’s push to a three-bin system, Andrew says a few years ago, the company saw a gap in the market for bins that would support compostable bags with minimal contamination.

A casual barbecue, long before the world of social distancing, saw Andrew come up with the name Doggie Dunnie – a bin that allows compostable dog waste bags to be collected and composted off-site.

The bin is threaded through a dog waste bin, ensuring no other waste contaminates the bins.

The compostable bag liner can then be taken and thrown straight into the green waste stream, preventing it from going to landfill.

The company offers both 55-litre capacity or 240-litre solo bin capacity – either a fixed galvanised liner or litter receptable, respectively.

Andrew says that with subsequent demand for compostable receptacles, one shire approached him late last year to accommodate a dog waste bag.

As part of a three-month dog waste trial project in a massive park in Port Elliot, green waste was collected for the first time in two green bins over December 2019 through to March 2020.

The headline result from the community-driven trial was a less than one per cent contamination rate with only two or three plastic bags found in the Doggie Dunnie.

The trial comprised a standard 240-litre wheelie bin that was locked and had a small round hole in the top lid with the 55-litre Doggie Dunnie bag inside.

Both green bins were weighted each week for 12 weeks and monitored for contamination for anything that was not a lime green compostable bag.

Around 121 kilograms of material in a wheelie bin was collected over 11 weeks, weighing an average of 11 kilograms per week.

Additionally, 65 kilograms collected in the Doggie Dunnie bin weighed an average of 5.9 kilograms per week, making the collective total of both bins 186 kilograms.

The number of rolls of compostable bags placed in the three dog park dispensers were also monitored before and during the trial.

Results show around 1000 bags were diverted from landfill in 12 weeks in conjunction with the dog waste collected, resulting in a positive and measurable outcome.

“The 240-litre unit can accommodate larger parks and we’re looking at rolling this out to a range of councils in WA and hopefully across the country,” he says.

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