Recycling Used Cat Litter

How can I recyle cat litter waste? Right now, my bags of it end up in trash disposal. I know someone who directly created a slope of it over a cliff, over time! In the past, I've used it to fill holes in my property. The point is, it's not supposed to be used in compost (except for flower beds), and if treated as trash, it just goes into landfills, doesn't it? I am looking for environmentally sound ideas about where to dispose of cat litter. What do you do with your clay or scoop stuff?

Nica from Big Bend, WV

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Used clay, scoop, pellet, or paper kitty litter needs to go in to a land fill and/or buried. No flushing of even the clumped urine (or feces for that matter) down the toilet for certain! There is no other environmentally safe way to dispose of used litter other than buried. Food for thought: What do cats instinctively do? They bury it.

It's admirable of you to try to find an option but anything other than landfill or burying is not safe due to virus/bacteria.

I hope the friend who made a slope on the cliff buried the litter instead of simply dumping it where it remains air born and does not decompose as quickly :-(

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In my town, the "pooper scooper laws" claim that dog and cat waste is unhygienic and contaminates soil and water.

That's funny. My dad always used our dog's "manure" to fertilize our garden. Some people thought that was gross, but is cow manure any grosser? We know what went into our dog and what came out of her.

If I had a yard I would use cat waste for flower gardening and lawn maintenance. I would use biodegradable litter such as "Yesterday's News" (made from newspaper) or shredded paper.

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If you have poison ivy in your yard put the used litter on it and it will die.

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I use the clumping litter and it works so well that I rarely empty the whole litter box. When I feel that it needs to be changed I empty it a little at a time, but mostly just clean out the urine and poop and add a little fresh litter. I think that it's great; saves on litter and what is put into a landfill. If you are so inclined, you might explore the "green" litter alternatives, like the shredded newspaper. I like th4e clumping liltter because it removes the odor immediately. When I can smell it, I know it needs to be refreshed. It is also possible to teach the cat to use the toilet. I don't have the patience for that, but there you go, if you do.

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I'm so glad for your responses! Nope, Deeli, the friend just tossed!

You know, another problem (mine & hers) is that my trash can be collected (for free) only in 1 large weekly bag, & the 7-10 individual bags in in filled w/ litter is very heavy! Very bad for my back!

Thriftyboo, from what I understand it's not the litter itself that's the problem; it's the waste. Meat-eaters, such as cats & people, shouldn't recycle what they expel into any ground used to grow edibles. Isn't that the case?

Hi, Thrifty Me. I have 6 indoor cats, so potty-training's not practical here. And, like you, I'm now using scoop litter, but still have about a 5-lb (?) bag per day. I've read the pros & cons of "greener" litter, but it's more expensive & not very well praised. When I clean the entire boxes, of course, then I'm really weighted down that week in used litter!

Thanks, again-


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You are so right to try to find an answer to this question. Did you know that they mine for the clay just for the purpose of cat litter? That just strikes me as horrible, that we're using a natural resource for that purpose.

I have a friend who uses chicken feed instead of cat litter. She says her cats were allergic to the litter and had begun to get sick any time they scratched around to cover "stuff" up. A guy at the hardware suggested the chicken feed, and she hasn't had any problems since because the feed doesn't have a dust to it. And as a bonus, its cheaper.

I have tried using paper, and its ok, but it's hard to control the smell. Maybe baking soda would help.

Now getting rid of whatever you use for litter and the contents? Harder question. One thing I have considered doing is throwing it away in a paper bag. I mean, think about it. When we throw it away in a plastic bag, we've taken something completely biodegradable and made it almost completely un-biodegradable, since it takes about a hundred years for a plastic bag to break down.

So, my advice would be to use chicken feed (biodegradable) for the litter, and then throw it all away in a paper bag so that it can eventually break down.

Kudos to you for caring and thinking responsibly about what you and your animals consume :-)

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Isn't chicken feed a natural resource like clay and even gold and diamonds ??? I am confused by the guest post about what the problem is with clay :-(

Oh my, Nica, that you have so much kitty litter to dispose of :-o Yes, that's a big job !!!

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Breakthrough! Take non clay litter (you can put new litter in place while doing this and toggle them) and after it has been wet through (and solids removed), put it in the sunlight outside! Churn it if needed to expose wet litter. Let the sun bake out the litter and the smell! You can get multiple reuses this way. Gradually it breaks down into little pieces, but boy is this the way to go! Yay!

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What I just for my "little guy", 15 lb. male 1/2 main coon, is Arm and Hammer natural corn litter. Its a bit expensive, $7.99-11.99 a bag depending on size, but what I've found is that if you clean out the littler box 1-2x a week using the paper bag method. Then add new litter on top and sprinkle a little baking powder as necessary between cleanings. A 7 lb. bad of littler will last a whole month. Plus, its ground up corn so its completely biodegradable.

It's also safe if you have other pets that tend to play... or eat -.-! the litter like rats, dogs, gerbils, ect. It's safe on their tummies unlike clay littler so you don't have to worry about vet visits, instead about what to do about their breath. lol.

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Three cats own us. Found this link while searching for environmentally sensible way to dispose of clumping clay kitty litter. We have two litter boxes that get cleaned with a sieve scooper every day and there is never any offensive smell, but that doesn't keep the litter out of the landfill. We NEVER have to replace all the litter by cleaning the boxes every day.

The best I have done so far is to empty the indoor bag into the garbage can bag and hope that when it hits the landfill, the bulldozer will rip it open so the contents can return to the earth, and not stay locked up inside two plastic bags.

So far the garbage can bag has never broken when the garbage collectors pick it up. If we didn't have kitty litter, we would only have to put our garbage out once a month. Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!... or in the words of my mom, from WW II era of austerity... wear it out, use it up, make it do, or do without!

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I have a cat that goes outside for a few minutes and then comes back in and the neighbor's cat is an outdoor cat. I found our cat peeing on our garbage can in the garage one day and I came to the conclusion that the neighbor's cat could smell the waste in our garbage can so he marked our can to say "This town ain't big enough for the two of us!"

So when we brought our can in, our cat smelled the other cat on the can and started marking it to make his statement. Meanwhile, we have litter in the basement, waste in the can and marking wee-wee in our garage if our guy goes into the garage for any length of time. We figured this out because he never wanted to come back in the house from the garage until he seemed bored in the dark.

But one day we tried to physically remove him from the garage and he started hissing. Then we caught him doing his thing. So we thought to eliminate the problem but now we are afraid that apart from the environmentally unfriendliness of the litter, the smell will attract the neighborhood cats to our property to do their business in our vegetable garden or yard. Anyone agree?

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I have a down-sloped backyard, the farthest part of which is rarely used. I am going to try an experiment. I have 8 indoor cats and a lot of outdoor furries (who go "wherever"). The amount of scoopable waste really builds up, so I have plastic store bags full of about 5-7 lbs. each time I clean the 3 large litter boxes. I am going to try the sandbag method of stacking said bags of litter waste, and begin to fill my yard in a wall that will even out a section.

After getting a good area filled, I will throw lime and soil onto it and begin in another area. Since it is clay, it should provide a decent, weed-free area where a brick terrace/patio can be laid over ground cloth. What does anyone think of this? There is no run-off or ground water issue where I will be doing this, and we have public water- the wells are 42-foot deep and far from any water seepage.

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Consumer Advice General AdviceFebruary 25, 2009
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