Back on January 5 we posted an article about dogs depositing their Do-Do on a north-south axis. (Scroll down for the story.) Now here’s another Do-Do story, one we shouldn’t Poo-Poo! It’s ingenious, from our friends in South Australia. Reprinted from: http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/dog-poo-could-be-used-to-run-lights-at-north-adelaide-dog-park/story-fnii5yv4-1226806294414.
The smelly scourge of suburban parks and footpaths
could soon, literally, be seen in a whole new light.
Public lighting powered by dog poo is among improvements Adelaide City Council is investigating for its award-winning North Adelaide Dog Park, in parklands off Robe Tce.
The idea was trialled in 2010 to power a lantern at a dog park near the US city of Boston.
The contraption, called the Park Spark, was devised by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate. Park Spark users put their dogs’ waste in biodegradable bags and then into tanks, where a wheel turns to break it down and release methane, which powers a gaslight-style street lantern.
Melbourne company Poo Power is working on a three-tank system for collecting dog faeces, biogas generation and storage for running park lights.
In Adelaide, city council recreation planner Ray Scheuboeck said it made sense to look at dog poo as a resource because “there’s obviously plenty being generated”.
“The park is very popular, so it would be great to turn something seen as a negative into a positive and achieve something the community wants,” he said. ”It’s exciting to look at turning it into a renewable energy resource.”
The Friends of the North Adelaide Dog Park Facebook group, which has 550 supporters, is lobbying for lighting, which was also the top user priority identified by a review UniSA did for the council a year ago.
Mr Scheuboeck said if the idea proved feasible it was likely to partially power new lights and would be another improvement for the park, crowned the nation’s best by Leisure Australia in November.
Poo Power founder Duncan Chew, who was tied by grant funding to working with Melbourne councils until the end of 2013, said he would be happy to talk to the Adelaide council about the possibility of the parklands having Australia’s first poo-fuelled lights.
He said biogas lighting from dog poo and food scraps also had potential for schools, dog kennels and other businesses.
Dog park user Lexi Reimann, 23, backed the idea.
“If it’s a good way to use up something that isn’t so pleasant, that’s pretty clever,” she said. “The dog park needs lighting during the winter months.”
“You can’t go there very late after work in winter because there’s no lighting.”
The council is also looking at adding “low cost” natural play features to the park using logs and stones and planting trees.
Cr Anne Moran’s idea of a wading pool for dogs is likely to be ruled out on safety grounds, given young children visit the park, but water misters are an option.
Photos, top: The first Park Spark project is installed at Tudor St in Cambridge in Bostonm, Massachusetts. (Photo by Matthew Mazzotta). Above: Lexi Reimann with her dog Russell at the dog park in North Adelaide, South Australia.