Originally Posted by Kusanar
I just started a compost pile at the house, will be interesting to see how long it takes my husband to discover it... it's not hidden and we don't have a large yard, so probably not long. I have a dog in the house and he never holds it to go outside, so his pen is about 3 inches deep in pine shavings to keep the smell down and to keep the floor clean and dry (it's amazing how dry and clean the floor is under there when you sweep up the shavings), so I'm starting a compost pile for the shavings, I don't have much green stuff to add, but I will probably go out every now and then and rake up the grass clippings after mowing just to have something to mix in there. also, I know dog poop shouldn't be in a compost pile, but it's either that, or throw it all in the trash can, so I'll just let it rot down really well, it's not like dogs and cats don't pee and poop in my garden anyway...
You’ll find that those pine shavings take a pretty good amount of time to break down. How long will depend on how moist it is and how much nitrogen you put in with them. Turning it makes a difference too.
The concern I’ve read about composting dog and cat poop and using that compost on the garden is that it can transmit some diseases. I don’t know what diseases or how likely that is to actually happen. I also don’t know if the animal’s diet has a contribution to that risk. All the experts say do not do it, but I really don’t know how big the risk actually is or what contributes to making that risk higher or lower.
I dug a pit to use for pure dog poop, not mixed with shavings. When that gets flies or starts to smell I cover it with a layer of grass clippings. That solves my problem but that pit is over 200 feet away from much of anything. I do have nut trees in that area so I have no doubt it will be full of tree roots as it composts. I’m not worried about the trees bringing any pathogens up through the roots to the nuts.
If you only have one compost pile, you will never have finished compost as long as you continue adding to it. I really don’t think the risk is tremendously high if it has thoroughly composted, but I don’t compost dog poop and use that on my vegetable garden. I would be more willing to use that on my ornamentals but I don’t separately compost for that. Just wash your hands after weeding those ornamentals but you probably should wash your hands anyway after playing in dirt.